'Sparkle' trailer: Whitney Houston's final film, starring Jordin Sparks (Video)
The trailer for Whitney Houston's final movie, "Sparkle," has been released, less than two months after the famed singer's death.
The film marks "American Idol" season 6 winner Jordin Sparks' big-screen acting debut and is a remake of a 1976 flick. Sparks, a 22-year-old pop star, plays Sparkle Williams, a girl from Detroit who forms a singing group with her sisters. The three deal with fame and the dark side of the music industry, including problems with drugs. Houston plays their mother.
The singer, who made her own movie debut with the 1992 film "The Bodyguard," had struggled with substance abuse for years and died at age 48 on February 11, on the eve of the Grammys. Toxicology results showed she drowned accidentally in a bathtub and that cocaine use and a pre-existing heart condition were listed as contributing factors in her death.
The "Sparkle" reboot is Houston's fourth film. Her third was the 1997 television movie "Cinderella." "Sparkle" also features new music from Houston, Sparks and fellow cast member Cee Lo Green, who also plays a singer.
Sparks was asked about working with Houston while speaking at the commencement exercise for Disney's Dreamers Academy with Steve Harvey and Essence magazine. The event took place at Walt Disney World in Florida on March 11, exactly one month after Houston died.
"She was always making sure I was okay, always asking if I needed something," Sparks said about the late singer. "In serious scenes, if the camera was on me ... she was standing right here, it was the back of her head, she'd be making faces at me, trying to make me crack and I was like, 'I'm going to get you for that. I am going to get you for that.'"
"I would wake up every morning, I would go and get ready to do the scenes and you know, here comes Whitney into the trailer and she's singing and she's blasting gospel music and just singing along with it and I'm just sitting there going, 'This is the best thing ever!'" Sparks added.
"Sparkle" also stars Carmen Ejogo and "Gossip Girl" star Tika Sumpter as Sparks' characters' sisters, Mike Epps and Derek Luke. The movie is set to hit theaters on August 17.
Jennifer Hudson, a former "American Idol" finalist, made her acting debut with the 2006 film "Dreamgirls" and won an Oscar for her role as singer Effie White. Sparks has previously acted in online videos and provided the voice of a mermaid on a 2011 episode of the Nickelodeon animated series "Team Umizoomi." Green is a mentor on the NBC show "The Voice" and guest starred on "The Boondocks" in 2008.
Houston's only child, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 19, is also set to make her acting debut soon. It was announced last week that she was cast in a recurring role in the Tyler Perry sitcom, "For Better or Worse."