Now, fans of Miss Houston will be treated to one final celluloid performance, in a remake of the 1976 film Sparkle, a retro-musical loosely based on the life and work of The Supremes. Houston plays Emma (Effie in the original), the mother of a trio of young women trying to make their break in the R&B world, complete with Curtis Mayfield’s original soundtrack and some new cuts from R. Kelly. American Idol alum Jordin Sparks assumes the title role made famous by Irene Cara; Derek Luke (Friday Night Lights, Notorious) plays the group’s manager, originally played by Philip Michael Thomas from Miami Vice, and cameos include Cee-Lo Green and gospel legend Vickie Winans. Houston also has a producer credit on the film, which is now dedicated to her memory.
Toward the end of the trailer, we get a glimpse of Houston’s big number, and it’s a reminder that she still had it, and of what we all lost.
By now you have heard about the tragic passing of Whitney Houston. Described as acting erratic in her final days while practicing for an appearance at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy bash, Jennifer Hudson will pay tribute to her during tonight’s award ceremony. While many artists who die unexpectedly have music released posthumously, it isn’t known whether Houston had any new songs she was working on. However, you will be able to see her one last time in the film Sparkle, set to be released this summer.
The film, also starring Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps, is a remake of the tale of three singers who struggle with addiction, a topic Houston clearly knew well and led to her demise. It is sure to make this an emotional watch and boost ticket sales. Having dazzled audiences in The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher’s Wife, many saw it as her big comeback. Along with acting, she also served as executive producer on the film and bought the rights to the original more than 10 years ago, reports the LA Times.
“It is presenting African-Americans in a beautiful light. Everybody on camera is just beautiful, and we’re smart and we’re educated and we’re dealing with our time of civil unrest. And raising children at that time as a single parent at that time must have been…” Houston told HitFix several months ago. “Phew. That’s why I put church in it, because it’s a foundation. In my life I know — and anybody who was raised in the church or the gospel or the Word — that’s exciting, that’s what makes… everybody be able to feel it.”
Since the films storyline is based around music, there is a chance Houston does sing in the film. Below is her final performance, taking the stage with Kelly Price at a pre-Grammy event this past Thursday.