By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 26, 2011 at 2:30AM
Says He'll Co-Star In 'Sparkle' Remake With Whitney Houston & Cee-Lo Green; R. Kelly Doing The Soundtrack
It was just under a week ago that Michael K. Williams first revealed that while he lost out on the lead role in Quentin Tarantino's forthcoming "Django Unchained," that the director might be writing a new part for him. Well, as the actor continues to do the rounds to promote the second season of "Boardwalk Empire" (the first episode aired last night), he's becoming much more chatty and confident about his prospects for 'Django.'
Sitting down with AICN, he tentatively confirmed his appearance in 'Django' cautiously saying, "I’m going to dare to say it’s going to go."
Once again recounts that he lost out on the part to Jamie Foxx, but does reveal the uh, colorful way in which he was told the news. "It came down to Jamie and I for 'Django,' and [Tarantino] was gracious enough to call me and tell me that 'Jamie was his nigger,' adding that, "...Will Smith expressed some interest, but it came down to Jamie Foxx and I, like QT told me this personally out of his mouth over lunch."
However, while talks are still underway, Williams has already been told to keep his early 2012 calendar clear saying, "Yes, I’ve been given a timeline. January through April. I’ve been given some dates when he’s going to want me to work, but I haven’t gotten the official word yet." Production is scheduled to take place in New Orleans and the timeline certainly makes sense if Tarantino is still aiming for the previously announced Christmas Day 2012 release.
And while the big question remains as to who Williams is playing, he has an idea, but he's not saying. "Absolutely not. I can’t right now. I do know, but I won't [tell you] right now," he said to AICN. We had our own random speculation that maybe the part of Bartholomew, the silent bodyguard for the villain Calvin Candie might be getting retooled, but it's just as likely Tarantino is creating something brand new for the actor. So we'll wait and see. But that is not all that is all the schedule for suddenly very busy Williams as he also notes, "I’m getting a lot of heat from this remake of an old film called 'Sparkle.'"
News of this project has been kicking around for the past little while, but has been picking up steam in recent weeks. The film is a remake of the 1976 movie "Sparkle," a musical drama penned by Joel Schumacher (really) and Howard Rosenman about a Supremes-like Motown group on the rise in the 1950s. The original featured music by Curtis Mayfield and had popular singer Irene Cara in the lead, but this modern do-over -- which is keeping the original storyline -- is raising the stakes. EW reports that Cee-Lo Green, Whitney Houston and "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks have all joined the cast. Sparks will take the lead with Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter playing her sisters in the girl group with Derek Luke, Mike Epps and Omari Hardwick rounding out the cast. Director Salim Akil ("Jumping the Broom") will be behind the camera but here's the best part: R. Kelly is doing the soundtrack. Amazing. The man responsible for "The Zoo" is going to write the songs for this. Awesome.
Production on "Sparkle" kicks off next month, but no word on Williams role. Either way, it looks like one of our favorite character actors is busier than ever in some pretty diverse projects (he's also guesting on "Community" this fall) and we couldn't be happier. Still more to come from 'Django' as it gears up to start shooting in a few months.