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Cee-lo Green, Carmen Ejogo, Omari Hardwick & Tika Sumpter Join Cast of "Sparkle" Remake

by Vanessa Martinez
September 23, 2011 12:42 PM
17 Comments
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According to Variety, singer Cee-lo Green, Carmen Ejogo, Omari Hardwick and Tika Sumpter have joined the ensemble music-themed drama Sparkle, directed by Salim Akil from a script by Mara Brock Akil. As reported on the site previously, the new additions will join Jordin Sparks in the title role, Whitney Houston, Mike Epps and Derek Luke.

Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter will play Sister and Dolores, Sparks' siblings. Whitney Houston will play the girls' mother. Green will play a singer who serves as the trio's opening act. Luke is set to star as aspiring Motown Manager Stix. He discovers the sisters and ends up falling for Sparkle. Hardwick will play Levi, his cousin, who romances Ejogo's character "but turns to a life of crime after she's stolen from him by Detroit comic Satin Struthers, who will be played by Mike Epps."

RnB singer R. Kelly is reportedly writing original music for the soundtrack. Production begins next month in Detroit.

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17 Comments

  • chell | October 5, 2011 3:39 AMReply

    mike epps is a huge mistake in this movie and so is jordan sparks. megan good or keke palmer or naturi naughton would be better choices in my opinion.

  • joy | September 26, 2011 12:53 PMReply

    r kelly has just been confirmed and whitney;s singing two gospel songs in the movie. in the remake, she;s not a maid but a prior r & b singer so i guess it made sense to cast her plus like carey carey said, she still carries weight in the black community and can still push product plus she's executive produding.

    Omari was Janet Jackson's husband in for colored girls who gave her aids and i here michael k williams of The Wire may possibly join thie cast.

  • misha | September 26, 2011 5:33 AMReply

    Exactly, JMac.

    "Don’t have me put BondGirl on you. :-)"

    Oh nooo! I'm trembling as I type. :P

  • JMac | September 26, 2011 4:44 AMReply

    You must have missed that post with the casting call for Sparkle. Light skinned with naturally wavy hair I think were the stated requirements.

    Gotta love our peeps ;)

  • CareyCarey | September 26, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    There you go Misha... stirring up mess *lol*

    Don't have me put BondGirl on you. :-)

    And what's this about----> "Nicole or Keke likely weren’t even a consideration cause they ain’t light skinned" ???

  • misha | September 26, 2011 4:10 AMReply

    @Micah. Just ignore Carey's rant. :P Nicole or Keke likely weren't even a consideration cause they ain't light skinned. The end.

    By the way, I recently saw Jumping the Broom and...too long, cliche and over the top.

  • Micah | September 26, 2011 3:31 AMReply

    I'm unaware of anyone that has said or even suggested Nicole Beharie is a big draw. I've only noticed people speaking well of the QUALITY of her work.

    Jordin Sparks is not known for her being a good actress or a theatrical draw in any demographic. However perhaps we are underestimating her appeal with various audiences.

  • CareyCarey | September 25, 2011 8:47 AMReply

    Okay, we've debated the star power of Ms Taraji Henson, so let me throw this on the table, Nicole Beharie is not a draw!

    Yes, I 've said the same about a guy name Idris Elba, and the balcony section went coocoo for cocoa puff.

    One of those voices point to his "starring role" in "Thor" as proof that he's the man of the hour. Well, if standing outside the gates of - I don't know where - wearing a costume and mask that made me say "who the hell is that man behind those Foster Grants" is star power, then Bozo The Clown is a A-line star that could pull everybody to the theater.

    NIcole Beharie may be the twinkle in the eye of some black folks, but she's sitting in the back of the star power bus.

    In my opinion, the smartest choices (business wise) are Whitney Houston and Mike Epps and R Kelly (don't understand the popularity of that short funny looking fat dude who looks like a black Yoda, Cee-lo). They turn heads and carry hugh weight in the black community, and regardless of what one may think of R Kelly's personal life, the man is going to bring some soul stirring music that touches most black folks.

    On the other hand... Jordin Sparks and her music,,, NAWL.. not at all. Nicole Beharie... who is she and what was she in, and what is she really bringing to the table? Seriously. the target audience for this genre is not looking for a great dramatic performance. Hey, the people behind this film gave us "Jumpin' Dat Broom" so what does that tell us?

  • Micah | September 25, 2011 6:58 AMReply

    In all honesty I had never heard of the original film until seeing it on this site. I still have yet to see it. That being said.

    I'm surprised they have chosen Jordin Sparks as a lead. Perhaps she has the strong fan base to draw people in but it is hard to imagine she has the gravitas to pull off the role as I understand it. She has had international success in music and has been acting in several projects (Granted it looks like see has mostly played herself). However it seems usually they place a mega music star in a lead role or a music star people feel has developed acting chops in smaller critically acclaimed roles. Jordin is neither of those. However the director may have seen something in Jordin that may surprise us all.

    I think the movie, quality-wise, would have better served by casting someone like Nicole Beharie. (I know some of you are thinking not her again.) However she can sing and has been gaining steady respect as an actress. I feel even Keke Palmer might have been a better choice.

    Once again Jordin Sparks seems like a nice girl, I just have some reservations about her being the lead in this film.

    Although over all the only person I have any faith in as an actor is Derek Luke. Carmen and Tika are hot but I've never seen anything they've been in. As far as Omari goes, I seen some films he's been in but I can't recall him in those films. That doesn't mean he has bad in any of those films though.

    As far as the director goes I REALLY appreciate the hard work he's putting in to get black films made but I'm not sure I'm a fan of his work. I have seen a couple of episodes of the TV shows he directed and I enjoyed what I saw.

    I curious what others feel about his work and his style.

  • Lisa | September 25, 2011 1:03 AMReply

    Just wondering can you call this picture motown beginnings or something else? It is obvious you are not on the same plateau for Sparkle. Nor is the casting anything like the original! Did you even tried? Fresh new faces and sticking to the original soundtrack and script would have been nice also. Maybe you need to see Sparkle again! that is why it was a classic...

  • Tovah | September 24, 2011 8:54 AMReply

    I'm assuming their names were plucked from a hat labeled "black actors and/or television personalities".

  • Natasha | September 24, 2011 6:17 AMReply

    I'm happy for Tika and Omari. I just feel like this was cast more on friendships than talent alone. I'm sorry but Carmen as Whitney's daughter? Carmen is like 38 yrs old and looks good for her age, but she's def someone's mother not a young girl who still lives at home. And as bubbly as Jordin is personality wise, she does not have the essence/je ne sais quoi of a Sparkle character. Irene Cara was cast perfectly in the original. I just wish black hollywood was interested in discovering new talent who are perfect for the job like white hollywood is.

  • troy | September 24, 2011 5:22 AMReply

    Looking forward to this. Whitney and debra martin chase has always done a great job producing movies. Salim and Akils did a decent job with Jumping the Broom on a shoe string budget.

    R Kelly added in the mix, i'm so in!

  • Sonny | September 24, 2011 5:14 AMReply

    I'm Still Giving The Movie A Chance. While They Have Changed The Plot A Bit I Still Think It'll Be Good. Not Life Changing But Entertaining:-)

  • misha | September 24, 2011 3:52 AMReply

    Lawd have mercy. Whitney Houston and Carmen Ejogo as mother and daughter? Oy vey.

    I'm happy for Tika though. She seems to be the only one who actually fits the role she's playing.

  • mantan | September 24, 2011 2:45 AMReply

    if this ain't the most random group of people ever.....

  • Tami | September 24, 2011 1:59 AMReply

    This is a farce.

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