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Fox Says "Waiting To Exhale" Sequel To Go On Without Whitney Houston + Oprah Might Replace Her

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by Tambay A. Obenson
February 14, 2012 12:27 PM
37 Comments
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With all the emphasis on whether the upcoming Sparkle remake release will at all be affected by star Whitney Houston's passing, I forgot all about that sequel to Waiting To Exhale that was officially announced in 2010, when author Terry McMillan's book (which the sequel will be based on) Getting To Happy hit bookstore shelves.

So is that project still a go without Whitney? The answer is "Yes," says Fox, according to Vulture (via The Playlist).

"I don’t think she would want it to... it's almost in her honor that we think to soldier on" said Elizabeth Gabler, president of Fox 2000 Pictures, to Vulture yesterday afternoon.

I didn't realize Elizabeth Gabler of Fox knew Whitney so well to speak on what she'd want or not want.

As we've continuous updated you on the progress of the film, you'd know that McMillan has been working on the script adaptation of Getting to Happy for a good year to 2 years now.

But the project is "a priority" at Fox 2000 and will be fast-tracked, shepherded by the original Exhale director Forest Whitaker.

So the big question is: who might replace Whitney in the sequel?

Fox 2000 prez Gabler says that "it isn’t inconceivable" that Oprah Winfrey might be the one (if only as an honor to Whitney), given that she's already announced her plans to return to acting. However, as Gabler cautions, no deals have been done with anyone so who knows.

And as Vulture reminds, another project that may likely somehow benefit from Houston's death is Warner Bros' plans to remake what was Houston's biggest big-screen hit film, The Bodyguard, for which a new script was just delivered to the studio.

So there ya have it... the Whitney Houston gravy train has officially started its engines... 

Suddenly that Sparkle remake, which really may have done modest box office a la the Akil's last film, Jumping The Broom, looks like it could very well exceed all expectations, as audiences rush to the theaters to see Whitney's last big screen performance! 

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37 Comments

  • Josh | January 5, 2014 9:37 PMReply

    I think Vivica A. Fox, Vanessa Williams, Janet Jackson or Regina King should be consider as possible replacements for Whitney Houston.

  • Loves2BeSexy | February 23, 2012 8:37 AMReply

    Victoria Rowell or Vivica Fox...

  • Dante McCottrell | February 22, 2012 1:46 PMReply

    I think Vivica Fox, Vanessa Williams or maybe Janet. Hubert. And maybe Jasmine. Guy!!

  • Jay Dubb | February 20, 2012 4:36 AMReply

    Ummm...Oprah...errr...NO. Make that a resounding "HELL NO"! Who was the crazy exectutive who came up with Oprah as a suggestion for that role? There are plenty of other, talented black actresses out there who are looking for/could use work and would do a much better job than Whitney could.

  • Cornell | February 20, 2012 6:14 PM

    I'd prefer to see Janet Jackson as Whitney!! Oprah is too old.

  • Donella | February 18, 2012 6:38 PMReply

    I'd prefer that Oprah could insert herself into Getting Back to Happy as executive producer rather than as actor. Then find alternative projects to relaunch her acting career.

  • CANU | February 17, 2012 6:16 AMReply

    Oprah? I thought 'gloria' was supposed to be the heavyset matronly type for the film.

  • yogi | February 16, 2012 10:45 PMReply

    Viola Davis

  • MsWilliamsWorld | February 16, 2012 3:07 PMReply

    LMAO!!!! This LITERALLY made me LOL!!--->"I didn't realize Elizabeth Gabler of Fox knew Whitney so well to speak on what she'd want or not want." (And, I was thinking the same thing...) ;-)

  • Bkyn Negress | February 15, 2012 11:07 PMReply

    What about Teresa Randall?

  • thefilmstudent | February 15, 2012 7:47 PMReply

    Let's get for real people shall we! I love Whitney as much as the next Whitney fan, but her performance in "Waiting to Exhale" was junior high school production caliber at best. She bombed during both of Savannah's "pivotal" scenes which happened back-to-back (the scene where she dumps Kenneth once and for all, and the scene where she's confronted by her mother for doing so). Try watching either of those scenes without thinking how a real actress would have delivered the goods and knocked them out of the park. That said, I say cast the one actress in Hollywood who has the beauty and talent to pull it off, brilliantly, who also happens to be the appropriate age: Debbi Morgan. I'd consider Lynn Whitfield, Tyra Ferrell and Sheryl Lee Ralph as well.

  • NoMoreCandy4U | February 14, 2012 6:48 PMReply

    WOW!! Replacing Whitney already ... But if the movie is to made, a well know actress should not be used. I think Aunjanue Ellis would be perfect.

    Love u Whitney Houston, RIP

  • Miles Ellison | February 14, 2012 6:39 PMReply

    One word: really???????????

  • JanayH | February 14, 2012 6:27 PMReply

    It should be vivica fox to replace whitney houston in the sequel I wouldn't pay to see Oprah these days sorry

  • Cherish | February 20, 2012 7:54 PM

    I agree!!

  • ATS | February 17, 2012 3:51 PM

    I agree with JANAYH 100%

  • SimzBrazil | February 14, 2012 6:00 PMReply

    I've always said if all 4 original actresses cant come back for the Waiting to Exhale sequel, then it shouldn't be made at all. Now that Whitney Houston is gone, I stick to that sentiment. And this is coming from somebody who supports any and every project that puts Angela Bassett to work in a significant way. Only Whitney should play Savannah.

  • MaCuffin | February 14, 2012 5:56 PMReply

    Only a matter of time before they slap a wig on Tyler Perry and cast him to fill Whitney's heels.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 3:59 PMReply

    There are so many trained and naturally talented actresses out there who aren't a part of the "establishment", but are pounding the pavement. Why not an unknown?

  • Jayson Jay | February 14, 2012 3:55 PMReply

    Oprah?! blinks. Oprah?! Are you kidding? No...just...no

  • Cordell | February 14, 2012 3:54 PMReply

    They should go with Lynn Whitfield, Holly Robinson Peete, Wendy Raquel Robinson or Vanessa Williams.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 2:47 PMReply

    I'm not sure if this is the best "climate" for another "Waiting to Exhale" which was not known for its showcasing of healthy Black relationships. If they did do one, though, I would center it on the "passing" of one of its characters, Savannah (and we all know that the incomparable...incomparable...Gregory Hines has long since left us). In honoring Whitney, the topic could be a catalyst for a kind of spiritual renewal and appreciation for life an love for the rest of the women.

  • misha | February 14, 2012 4:19 PM

    Thanks for that depressing review, Cherish. :/ LOL I certainly can't say I'm anxious to see it, after reading that. But alas, the show will go on so I'd have to join those who say NO to Oprah. Vanessa Williams (either one), Vanessa Bell Calloway, Viola Davis would all be better choices IMO.

  • Nadine | February 14, 2012 3:46 PM

    ...@CHERISH - Sounds like a disaster... thanks for the additional info... I haven't read McMillan in a long time... worst fears realized...

  • Cherish | February 14, 2012 3:05 PM

    I agree re the "climate" for this book. A review from Publisher's Weekly on the sequel: "Fifteen years after Waiting to Exhale, McMillan brings back Savannah, Gloria, Bernadine, and Robin--now in their 50s--for a disappointing and uninspired outing. As the story opens, Gloria is very happy, Savannah believes she might be happy, Bernadine is fighting addiction and losing ground, and single mother Robin is trying to resign herself to being alone while things at her job begin to unravel. Within the first few chapters, Gloria and Savannah are struck by disaster, and things go rapidly downhill from there for everyone. Most of the misery has to do with men who lie, steal, cheat, or disappear, or with adult children who face similar problems."
    Just what we need - another story about Black women unhappy with the lives, dealing with (Black) men who treat them bad. Why subject ourselves to this type of story again?

  • Nadell | February 14, 2012 2:39 PMReply

    NO, NO & NO! 1st - there should NOT be a sequel to a classic. 2nd - Oprah is actually a great actress but she isn't the piece to make the puzzle complete. Lastly - why not make the sequel with an all, new cast of Hollywood's young stars? Such as Sanaa, Gabrielle, Nia, Jurnee, Nicole Beharie -- actresses along those lines...

  • Anton | February 14, 2012 2:29 PMReply

    Why not Vanessa Williams? She's one of Whitney's contemporaries, close to the same age (and still looks fantastic) and plus she can sing so she could even do music to the soundtrack. I think that would be the better pick than Oprah. Oprah's a great actress but she's totally wrong for this role.

  • Sergio | February 14, 2012 1:48 PMReply

    However the question is if Whitney was still alive would they have put her in the sequel in the first place? It's no secret that her erratic behavior and drug problems made her "risky" person to hire in any film aside from also being uninsurable. I suspect her role in Sparkle will be a small role and not so significant and they probably had a replacement actress standing in the wings just in case it didn't work out with her. I hard pressed to believe that they would have given her so prominent role in the sequel as she had in the first film

  • Jai | February 14, 2012 1:41 PMReply

    I agree with Corey, Sanaa Lathan would be a better choice than Oprah!

  • Jacquie | February 14, 2012 1:41 PMReply

    NO, NO, NO! Oprah needs to go somewhere on this one. Either cast someone like Vanessa Bell Calloway, Suzanne Douglas, Aunjanue Ellis, or Viola Davis, or write the character off, work the beginning around her funeral. Anything else is ridiculous.

  • Geneva Girl | February 14, 2012 1:21 PMReply

    You have got to be kidding! Oprah?!? If it were April Fool's Day and not Valentine's Day, I'd laugh, but this is crazy talk. For all the reasons listed below, this won't work. No knock on Oprah, but this isn't her role. This Fox exec obviously has a limited knowledge of the working black actresses in Hollywood. Well, given the trend, I suspect that a British actress' name will be bandied about. Thandie Newton any one? ;-)

    My husband is shouting in the background, "Jasmine Guy! She's the right age." Oh, boy, he's clueless sometimes. I guess that Vivica A. Fox is in the same age category.

  • Mocha | February 14, 2012 1:02 PMReply

    Oprah????!!! Are you kidding me? There is no way Oprah Winfrey would make a good replacement for a woman as stunning as Whitney Houston. I am not saying Oprah is unattractive, but Whitney's heaviest was probably less than Oprah's lightest, and Oprah is almost a decade older than Whitney, and looks it. Unfortunately, the actress who would be perfect to replace her, Angela Bassett, already has a role in the franchise. If they are really determined to go through with the film, then they better find someone who fits the role, and someone with a righteous and matronly persona just won't do.

  • Akelah | February 14, 2012 12:55 PMReply

    Oprah as Whitney's former character?...no sir and no ma'am

  • Keepingitreal | February 14, 2012 12:53 PMReply

    Oscar winner Mo'nique needs an acting job. I think she would be the best replacement. Another idea is to get an unknown actor who needs some shine.

  • Corey | February 14, 2012 12:52 PMReply

    Instead of Oprah, how about Sanaa Lathan?

  • Angela | February 14, 2012 12:47 PMReply

    Honestly, I was waiting to see when and how quickly the gravy train would start and by golly, it is here! smh

  • Margo | February 14, 2012 12:38 PMReply

    Watched an interview last night where Jordin and Whitney were talking and Whitney was super excited to do a Waiting to Exhale sequel....her character was hilarious in the original...so if they do a sequel...I don't know if I'll be sitting in to watch that. And Oprah as a replacement....no ma'am! Dead or alive...life must go on I suppose....still kinda stunned that shes gone :(

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