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First-Look At Whitney Houston And Jordin Sparks In "Sparkle" Remake

by Tambay A. Obenson
January 23, 2012 9:08 AM
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Above is your first official photo (courtesy of People magazine) from Sony Pictures' Sparkle remake, which stars Jordin Sparks, Whitney Houston, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Derek LukeMike Epps, and others, shepherded by Salim and Mara Brock Akil.

The film, which will feature original music from R. Kelly, will hit theaters on August 10, 2012.

As already noted, our understanding is that this Sparkle will not be a modern re-telling of the original version, as we initially thought, but rather will be set in the 1960s. How will it differentiate itself from the original, or even from the recent Dreamgirls (2006)? And if it's just a rehashing of the original, but with a different set of actors, what's the point?


All questions that I hope will be answered eventually, as the film's release date draws near.

Principal photography is supposed to have wrapped already, so I suspect we'll get a first trailer for the film soon enough.

In the above phot, Jordin Sparks plays the titular Sparkle (Irene Cara in the original); Whitney Houston is the sisters' mother Effie (Mary Alice in the original).

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  • Donella | January 24, 2012 2:41 PMReply

    I'm very hopeful for Whitney that she will continue to take on more projects and find the opportunities that she lost the past decade. Both she and Jordin look great in the photo. Salim and Mara Brock Akil have created great projects. I believe I'll watch it.

  • factchecker | January 23, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    Can Tambay write without being lazy? Do some research! The film is set in the 60's , the original was set in the 50's. This will be different, just google for the articles. How can you be a writer and don't do basic research.
    Whitney is now Emma, not Effie. Emma is a middle class past r&b singer affiliated with the church who owns a store. Effie was a poor made in Harlem, NY. Emma is based in Detroit.

    That's 2 or 3 differences right there.

    Satin is Mike Epps who is a well off comic with who turns Sister out. In the old Sparkle, Satin was a drug dealer and a pimp but he still turned sister out. Similar but slightly different.

    The big difference, Dreamgirls was a musical where dialogue was sung. It was about payola, jealousy and spanned almost 3 decades.

    Sparkle came before Dreamgirls. None of the dialogue is sung so that makes it a drama with music not a musical. It is basically one decade not 3. Enough differences and all I did was read what is out there under google sparkle salim akil, debra martin chase, whitney houston sparkle movie.

    a 9th grader could have written this with more accuracy.
    Another thing, numerous articles says Whitney is playing Emma not Effie. Name changed, I guess you miss that.

    So I hope you now get the point as to why it is a remake but with differences. sheesh! Dumb! BTW, Whitney looks great!

  • Egypt | January 28, 2012 12:15 AM


    Tambay doesn't have a point because her article is filled with errors due to a bias and being too lazy to research.

    Dreamgirls is set over 3 decades, Sparkle only 1, Dreamgirls was not about family, Sparkle is, Dreamgirls is a musical, Sparkle isn't - i get your point but for this purpose Dreamgirls had mostly sung diaglogue for the musical numbers. There is a gospel/family values thread that runs through sparkle that is not featured in DreamgirlsThere are clear differences to me.

    The music will even be different but in any event, I can't wait to go out and support this.

  • Ladybug | January 23, 2012 9:20 PM

    I think Tambay's point is that the differences are minor . . . 50's vs 60's . . . it still makes it a period piece . . . not much different from the original. And while Dreamgirls was the thinly veiled story of the Supremes . . . Sparkle then and now is just another story about a black female girl group . . . in the end its all the same . . . something happens to break them up . . . one of them rises to stardom . . . the end. Oh and not all musicals have sung dialogue.

  • D. Misha | January 23, 2012 12:40 PMReply

    Here's to Whitney Houston for bringing authenticy to the horrors of drug abuse. At least she got a job. I feel this is a useless cover of the original. Let's see a contemporary film of today's issues.

  • Cherish | January 23, 2012 1:11 PM


  • Tamar | January 23, 2012 12:35 PMReply

    I am eagerly awaiting the release of the remake "Sparkle" as my 10 year old son was priviliged to be cast in some of the scenes. Actually, this is his SECOND feature film ... Transformers Dark of the Moon was his first. Favor is not fair but it is Oh so Divine. DFMites

  • evan | January 23, 2012 10:47 AMReply

    I don't think it looks bad, dramatic yes. I wish these trailers skipped the, "David and Cary had the perfect life.."

    Nobody has the perfect life; let the images speak for itself. I'm intrigued to see it though, especially because of the actors.

  • Vanessa | January 23, 2012 1:08 PM

    Hmm...This is the EXACT comment, word by word/quote by quote, that I left under the post of T.D. Jakes "On The Seventh Day" trailer.

    It's a tad creepy. *Sigh* Maybe now THIS comment will end up somewhere else. SMH.

  • Sonny | January 23, 2012 10:13 AMReply

    I think the film is going to be a little different from the original & Dreamgirls. While inspired by The Supremes both movies dealt with different issues. Dreamgirls dealt with love triangles, payola, & was an actual musical. Sparkle is a music based drama that is really about how fame affects a family. I'm excited for the project. I love The Akils & while I'm a little shocked at some of the casting, I'm sure Jordin, Tika, Whitney, & Carmen will bring it! Can't wait:-)

  • Tamara | January 23, 2012 9:49 AMReply

    I hope this does well, I do. If it is not a remake of the original or another Dreamgirls, but if it brings something new and fresh to this type of rise-to-stardom story then I want this feature to work. Maybe because I'm rooting for new talent? Jordan, Tika. Underused talent? Carmen, Derek. A revival of talent? Whitney, R.Kelly (yeah, even him), Mike Epps. I don't know. But I'm more interested now than I was upon first hearing of this project.

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