First Look: Whitney Houston's Final Role in "Sparkle" - NBC Chicago
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First Look: Whitney Houston's Final Role in "Sparkle"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    (Published Monday, July 2, 2012)

    Whitney Houston produced and starred in "Sparkle," her first film in 15 years, not long before her tragic death in February. The first trailer for the film was released Monday, and it shows the singer-actress in prime comeback form.

    "Sparkle," a remake of the 1976 film that starred Irene Cara, tells the story of three sisters trying to make it as a girl group at the peak of the Motown era, with Houston playing their mother, who was a talented singer in her own time, but lacked the courage to chase stardom.

    This new version stars Season Six "American Idol" champion Jordin Sparks in the title role, with Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter playing her sisters, and Derek Luke, Mike Epps and Cee Lo Green rounding out the cast.

    Houston had owned the film rights since the '90s, and at one point hoped to cast Aaliyah in the lead, but the young singer died in a plane crash shortly before production was to start.

    "Sparkle" opens Aug. 17.