(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
Where You Can Stream It: Disney+
The Pitch: Co-produced by Whitney Houston, who also appears as Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, the 1997 remake of the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella TV musical features a “color-blind” cast led by a lovely Brandy, at the height of her R&B and acting career.
Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: Because the world is full of zanies and fools who don’t believe that the Brandy Cinderella is a bonafide classic.
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Whitney Houston was an incomparable, chart-topping singer with a powerful voice and a vivacious presence. So finding someone to play the singer/actress required a worldwide search to find the perfect actress to bring her to life in the upcoming biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody. But rather than finding an unknown star, it’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker co-star Naomi Ackie who has landed the lead role in the Sony/TriStar production coming to theaters in the fall of 2022. Read More »
The all-too-short life of Whitney Houston is the subject of Whitney, a new documentary from Kevin Macdonald. Featuring never-before-seen archival footage and interviews with people closest to Houston, Macdonald’s film attempts to shed light not just on Houston’s career but also traumas from her childhood. Watch the Whitney trailer below.
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For a long time, Whitney Houston was simply “The Voice,” the uber-talented diva who could hit any note, who could pull off any run — and dominated the music charts for it. Then, she became the face of the tabloids, of washed up singers who struggled with a life of drugs, erratic behavior, and scandals. It was a bittersweet, beautifully transient career for the legendary singer that was cut short by her tragic death at the age of 48. Now, a documentary approved by the singer’s estate, will remind us of why we’ll always love Whitney Houston. See the Whitney trailer below.
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Today we bring a bunch of new sequel news bits including:
- Waiting to Exhale 2 Could Still Happen Without Whitney Houston
- Universal is developing ideas for a sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman … but without Snow White?
- The studio has no plans for The Lorax 2 but definitely more Dr. Seuss adaptations
- Will Udo Kier replace Dieter Laser in The Human Centipede 3?
All this and more, after the jump.
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Sparkle remakes the 1976 film of the same name that was a fictionalized story of a Motown girl group inspired by the Supremes. But the reason most people will be paying attention to the film now is that it features the final screen appearance of the late Whitney Huston. The singer plays mom to three sisters (Jordin Sparks, Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter) who take to the stage to make their fortune as singers. It seems like Huston mostly plays a supporting role, with a few big scenes here and there, and the just-released trailer for Sparkle doesn’t try to make the film out to be hers alone.
Check it out below. Read More »
Lots of sequel news today so let’s get right to it. After the jump, read about the following:
- Shawn Levy gives an update on a sequel to Real Steel.
- There’s already been talk of a third Ghost Rider according to directors Neveldine and Taylor, who are also still considering Crank 3D.
- Latino Review has revealed some major plot points in Taken 2.
- Fox is still moving ahead with a Waiting to Exhale sequel after the death of Whitney Houston.
- Steven Spielberg says Peter Jackson will be starting production on The Adventures of Tintin 2 this year.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 14th, 2011 by Angie Han
Briefly: Sony has just announced release dates for two very different projects I’d very nearly forgotten about. Variety reports that Paul Greengrass‘ reality-based Somali pirate tale Captain Phillips is now slated for a March 22, 2013 opening, while Salim Akil‘s music-themed drama Sparkle will hit August 10, 2012.
The former stars Tom Hanks as real-life hero Captain Richard Phillips, who offered himself as a hostage to Somali pirates in exchange for the safety of his cargo ship’s crew. Adapted by Billy Ray (State of Play) from Phillips’ memoir A Captain’s Duty, Captain Phillips comes from The Social Network producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, and Kevin Spacey. The March 2013 date pits Captain Phillips against DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods, which is aimed at a younger demographic.
Akil’s Sparkle is a remake of the 1976 drama of the same title, and is a fictionalized take on the story of Diana Ross and The Supremes. Starring Jordin Sparks, Derek Luke, and Whitney Houston (in her first big-screen role since 1996’s The Preacher’s Wife), the film will feature original music from R. Kelly. Sparkle‘s August release coincides with the opening two rather dissimilar films — Jonathan Levine’s zombie romance Warm Bodies and Jay Roach’s political comedy Dog Fight.
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Posted on Monday, October 3rd, 2011 by Angie Han
Zach Gilford, best known as sensitive QB Matt Saracen on Friday Night Lights, will be starring opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Last Stand. Described as “a combination of Die Hard and High Noon,” the action film revolves around a border town sheriff (Schwarzenegger) who finds himself tasked with stopping a drug kingpin from crossing the U.S. border. Gilford will play one of the cops working under Schwarzenegger’s character.
The Last Stand marks the English-language debut of South Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-woon (I Saw the Devil), as well as Schwarzenegger’s return to acting. Given the kind of work that Schwarzenegger and Gilford have each done in the past, I’m having a little trouble imagining them starring next to each other. But Gilford’s a wonderful actor who deserves to get way more work than he does, so I’m just happy to see him pick up a higher-profile gig for once. The Last Stand is due out January 18, 2013. [Deadline]
After the jump, pop star Pink tries her hand at acting, while actor Derek Luke gives music a shot.
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Posted on Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 by Angie Han
Whitney Houston is set to return to the big screen for the first time in 15 years for Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 drama based on the real-life tale of Diana Ross and The Supremes (yes, kind of like Dreamgirls, only Sparkle came first). The story follows the rise and fall of fictional girl group Sister & the Sisters, the members of which find their personal lives falling apart even as their act reaches ever higher levels of fame and success.
Houston, who’s also set to executive produce, will play the “not-so-encouraging” mother of the girls in the band. Houston has actually been attached to the project since back when it was supposed to star Aaliyah, who passed away in 2001. Also in the cast are Jordin Sparks making her cinematic debut in the title role, and Mike Epps in the part of destructive comedian Satin. Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom) is set to direct the feature from a script by his wife Mara Brock Akil. [Movieline]
After the jump: Dustin Hoffman snags some fine British talent (including two notable Harry Potter actors) for his directorial debut, and Twilight star Ashley Greene signs on for a weird, “ultra-modern” version of a Charles Dickens classic.
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