It was inevitable that Hollywood would move ahead with a biographical feature about the tumultuous life of the recently-deceased, award-winning musician/singer/actress Whitney Elizabeth Houston. In fact, Houston reportedly started planning a film about her life with Clive Davis (her record label boss and good friend) prior to her death; Davis is now the primary creative force spearheading the attempt to bring Houston’s story to the big screen.
Several musically-talented actresses are currently rumored to portray the African-American pop musician icon on the big screen, but (as shall be discussed in a moment) there’s little reason to suspect those casting rumors have much substance right now.
The Daily Mail says that Davis is looking to finalize a shooting script for a Houston biopic ASAP, so that production can begin in the near future. Houston will first make her final appearance onscreen in this year’s dramatic musical titled Sparkle (originally planned as a comeback vehicle for the starlet) well before the cinematic dramatization of her life arrives in theaters.
Houston’s 22-year-old Sparkle co-star Jordin Sparks is rumored to be among the actresses currently “in the running” to portray a young version of Houston in said biopic, alongside such people as pop musician/actress Rihanna and fellow American Idol alum (not to mention, Oscar-winner for her role in Dreamgirls) Jennifer Hudson. Will Smith’s adolescent daughter, Willow, is also “thought” to be a primary contender to portray Houston during her childhood years.
That’s all to say, pretty much every no-brainer obvious choice to play Houston (at some point in her life) in a biopic is said to be a contender to do so right now. Best to take all this with a healthy grain of salt and not assume there’s much (if any) truth to these casting rumblings until an actual official statement about the project has been released.
Biographical pictures about the roller coaster existences of iconic musical talents are almost by definition prestige projects, seeing how cinematic titles such as Ray, Walk the Line, What’s Love Got to Do with It, and La vie en rose have all either snagged awards and/or serious recognition from Academy voters. The Whitney Houston biopic shouldn’t struggle to attract backers and noteworthy filmmaking talent, if only for that reason.
Houston’s often tragic real-life story almost reads like something cooked up by a Hollywood screenwriter who’s trying too hard to create the next memorable fictional melodrama about a star’s rise to fame (and subsequent fall from grace). In other words, it’s a film that could either turn out to be genuinely moving or irritatingly soapy, depending on who’s holding the directorial reins.
We’ll provide you with additional information about the Whitney Houston biopic – including, who’s working behind the scenes and whether a name actress or newcomer ends up being cast in the lead role – as it is released.