Whitney is Back

Doesn’t Whitney Houston look wonderful? The singer was spotted alongside comedian Mike Epps earlier this week on the set of their new movie ‘Sparkle.’

As previously reported, Whitney will be playing Jordin Sparks’ mother (Emma) in the film, while Epps will be playing the role of Satin Struthers.

Though I was originally skeptical of Whitney playing the mother, I have since softened my stance after reading the script.

Whitney’s role in the film is quite meaty and will hopefully mark her return to the big screen.

Whitney will also be singing in the film and was photographed in the studio with Harvey Mason Jr. earlier this month, reportedly working on the film’s soundtrack.

Tika Sumpter Joins ‘Sparkle’ Cast

Actresses Tika Sumpter and Carmen Ejogo are the latest names to be announced as stars of the upcoming ‘Sparkle’ remake by Salim and Mara Brock Akil.

Carmen, probably best known for her role as Alean in the HBO original movie Lackawanna Blues, will play the role of Sista, while Tika will take on the role of Delores.

Cee-Lo Green will play a singer who serves as the girl’s opening act.

The part of Stix Warren will be played by actor Derek Luke, with Jordin Sparks playing the role of Sparkle and Whitney Houston rounding out the cast as the girl’s mother.

Editor’s Note: Though I’m not fond of Derek Luke as Stix, the addition of Sumpter as Delores and Ejogo as Sista, is nothing short of brilliant.

Ejogo, wife of actor Jeffrey Wright, was amazing in Lackawanna Blues and is an excellent choice to play the role of Sista. Kudos to the Akils for bringing her on.

As for Sumpter, she is on fire due to her roles on ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘The Game.’ No doubt ‘Sparkle’ will up her profile even more. FYI: I have gotten a peek at the script and it is a complete re-write. The Delores Sumpter will play is nothing like the one in the original.

Whitney Houston to Star in Sparkle Remake

According to the Hollywood Reporter, comedian Mike Epps and singers Whitney Houston and American Idol winner, Jordin Sparks, have signed on to star in the remake of the 1976 classic ‘Sparkle.’

As previously reported, Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil, creators of ‘Girlfriends’ and ‘The Game,’ will be writing, directing and producing the movie themselves. Distribution will be through Sony Pictures, with production to start in the summer of 2012.

Editors Note: I checked out the Akil’s Facebook pages and no casting decisions are listed there. However, the Hollywood Reporter is a trade publication and thus, I doubt they would publish inaccurate information.

That said, I cannot understand in what capacity Whitney, who lost her voices ages ago, would fit into this film. What role could she possibly play? Sista? I think not.

The first half of the film totally hinges on that character, which I can no longer picture the once mighty Houston playing. I love her dearly, but her voice is gone and this movie is all about the voices.

I am just as disappointed in the decision to cast Jordin Sparks, who clearly would be playing the title role of Sparkle. Yes, Jordin has a voice- but she lacks any type of discernable charisma. I don’t see her being able to carry a film on her name or talents alone.

The decision to cast Mike Epps however is by far the biggest mistake of them all. Mike dumbs down every movie he is in. When I think of Epps, I think buffoon.

I really don’t mean to be a negative Nelly, but if you are going to remake a classic you should think long and hard about the names you bring in to take on such iconic roles. Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks and Mike Epps have no place in a Sparkle remake unless they are playing supporting roles.

Paula Patton Cast in Sparkle Remake

While speaking earlier today at the American Black Film Festival, actress Paula Patton revealed to the crowd that she has been offered a role in the Brock and Salim Akil (The Game, Girlfriends) remake of the classic 1976 film “Sparkle.”

Paula did not confirm which role she might play in the film or even if she had signed on. What she did confirm however is that producers specifically had her in mind from the beginning.

So which role might Paula play? I put my money on the part of Sista. Despite the film being named after the lead character Sparkle, it is the role of Sista that is the most memorable and clearly the most pivotal to cast.

Personally Paula never crossed my mind. I assumed they would look to cast people who were relatively young and able to pass as school age kids. Clearly the Akil’s are not going to remake “Sparkle” to the letter or else a near 40 year old Patton would not have been chosen.

Despite her age however, I like the casting of Patton and look forward to seeing who is offered the part of Stix and Sparkle.

I have $5 that says Terrence Howard will play Stix.