Angela Bassett's feature directorial debut won't be the long-in-development adaptation of author Percival Everett's Erasure, after all.
Instead, in an unlikely choice, the actress will make her directorial debut with the Lifetime Original Movie Whitney Houston (working title), which, the press release states, will chronicle the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer and model, and singer, songwriter Bobby Brown - from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage.
“I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all. I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world.”
Produced by The Sanitsky Company, Whitney Houston will be executive produced by Larry Sanitsky (who produced Betty & Coretta, the Lifetime Original Movie that Bassett starred in last year).
Shem Bitterman (Betty & Coretta) wrote the film’s script.
Last year, Bassett and Lifetime worked together on Betty & Coretta, which Bassett starred in with Mary J. Blige, that told the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Blige), wives of Dr. Martin Luther King (Malik Yoba) and Malcolm X (Lindsay Owen Pierre), who formed a life-long bond between each other, after their husbands’ tragic assassinations.
Bassett’s performance received a 2014 SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries, as well as an NAACP Image Award nod for Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.
Whitney Houston is scheduled for a 2015 world premiere.
Of course, Bassett and Houston co-starred in the adaptation of Terry McMillan's novel, Waiting To Exhale, in 1995, under Forest Whitaker's direction.