*Bishop TD Jakes, the producer of Whitney Houston’s upcoming film “Sparkle,” said the remake was tailor-made for the singer, and seemed to have parallels to her real life.
The story follows three sisters who have to face the difficulties that come along with fame as their singing careers take off. “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks portrays the title character, Sparkle, one of three sisters, and Houston plays their mother.
“When she (Houston) walked out there and began to perform, we were all just stunned at how well she did, not only with the singing but also with the acting as well,” Bishop Jakes told CNN’s Soledad O’Brien on Thursday.
Jakes — who will attend Houston’s funeral on Saturday, a week after she was found dead at a Beverly Hills, California, hotel — recalled being drawn to the script.
“I saw the original ‘Sparkle’ and loved it,” he said. “It spoke to hope and the resilience of the human spirit in the midst of the decadence of life.”
He told CNN of the “synergy” between Houston and Sparks on and off the set, with Houston serving as a mentor.
In the movie, Houston, who had a daughter of her own, plays a mother who had reached the apex of her career and had settled down to singing in her church, Jakes said. Sparkle is in the choir, poised to make her own move toward the big time.
“There is some interesting parallels between the script and the lives of the two women,” Jakes said.
Houston, who helped produced the film, chose to sing “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” leaving everyone on the set teary-eyed, the pastor said.
“Sparkle” is currently is in post-production and scheduled to hit the big screen on August 17, according to Sony Pictures Entertainment.
To Jakes and others, the movie was going to help relaunch Houston’s career.
“We did not know that we would be left with the (film),” Jakes said. “I think it’s a responsibility to hold in our hands her last cinematic production.”