Whitney Houston's 'Sparkle' Sticks on August Release, Producers Weigh In on the Diva's Death
The shocking news of Whitney Houston's death on Saturday, February 11 would not affect the planned release schedule for her last movie, "Sparkle". Sony Pictures has confirmed that the forthcoming drama will still stick with its original release date on August 17.
The release schedule aside, Sony weighed in on the sudden death of the fabled diva. In a statement released Sunday, the studio said, "Like all those who knew and loved her, we are shocked and saddened and the world has lost an incomparable talent. Right now our thoughts are with her daughter, her family and her friends."
"Sparkle" producer TD Jakes also expressed his condolence as stating, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of Whitney Houston, whom we were blessed to have just completed work with on the remake of the film 'Sparkle'."
"We ask the world to join us in lifting up Whitney's family in prayer and ask God for their strength and comfort during this devastating difficult time," he added. "At the apex of her career, Whitney had no peer, with a voice that shaped a generation. She has left behind musical and film legacy that will endure... She will be sorely missed by us all."
Executive producer Howard Rosenan, meanwhile, admitted that he has no idea if Houston's death would bring impact to "Sparkle". Rosenan, who has just saw the rough cut of the film on Saturday, said, "I'm in total shock. I have no idea about the impact on 'Sparkle', which I saw last night. [Houston] was unbelievably fantastic in it."
"Sparkle" is supposed to mark Houston's first movie since "The Preacher's Wife" in 1996. In the upcoming movie, the late diva will appear as a "not-so encouraging mother" to Jordin Sparks' titular character.
The movie itself is a remake of the 1976 music-themed film that is inspired by the story of The Supremes. The original movie centers on three sisters who begin singing in their church choir in Harlem in the late 1950 before finding fame as a girl group. Their sudden rise, however, unravels their personal lives.
The Salim Akil-directed remake will be set in 1968 Detroit during the rising era of Motown. Its story follows the youngest sister, a music prodigy named Sparkle as she struggles to become a famous star while overcoming issues that are tearing her family apart.
Houston was found dead at the age of 48 at the Beverly Hilton hotel over the weekend. A day after her death, Coroner's Office confirmed that the autopsy on Houston's body has been completed but details of the result were still kept under wraps. Coroner's Ed Winter said that the cause of the diva's death "is deferred pending toxicology and further testing."
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