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Jordin Sparks, Mike Epps Set To Star In "Sparkle" Remake; Whitney Houston In Talks

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act September 12, 2011 at 10:31AM

Breaking news, courtesy of Variety:
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Breaking news, courtesy of Variety:

"American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps are set to star in Sony Pictures' remake of "Sparkle," while Whitney Houston is in negotiations.

Jordin Sparks will play Sparkle (Irene Cara in the original); Houston will play the sisters' mother Effie (Mary Alice in the original); Epps will be local gangster Satin (Tony King in the original). So, what about Sister and Delores?

If you've been keeping up with our reports on the project, you'll remember Paula Patton's revelation at an ABFF talk in July, when she acknowledged that she'd been offered a role in the Sparkle remake, with Salim and Mara Brock Akil (the team behind Jumping the Broom) shepherding the project.

Patton didn't confirm which role, but was clear that an offer had been made and that she was considering it. She did say that the Akils wanted her very specifically from the beginning.

When we posted that piece of news, most of you guessed that the role she'd been offered was very likely that of "Sister,' which Lonette McKee played in the original film. That's what I figured as well - it made the most sense, especially as we've learned, this Sparkle will not be a modern-day re-imagining of the original version, but will pretty much mimic the time and place of the original.

However, soon after that, I received a casting call notice sent out for that specific role in the film, which I took to mean that Patton was likely out of the project, and maybe they were looking for an *unknown*.

So, that role as well as the 3rd sister, Delores, have still yet to be cast, as of right now.

As already noted, 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, which baffles me. 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?


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