NEW YORK (AP) — Viewers got a first glimpse of Whitney Houston's upcoming film Monday when NBC's "Today" show premiered a trailer for the much-awaited release, and a fuller clip debuted on Yahoo! Movies.
A remake of the 1976 original, "Sparkle" stars Houston as the mother of three girls who form a singing group and struggle with fame and drug addiction. The trailer displayed the daughters, including "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks, in performance. Houston is prominent throughout, at one point singing the classic gospel song "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."
She also tells one of her daughters: "I always knew you had the gift. It makes me feel like I did something right. Don't lose it."
Debra Martin Chase, who is a producer of the film, said she had mixed emotions with the trailer's release; the movie is scheduled for release Aug. 17.
"On the one hand, I'm so excited about the movie and we're really happy with how it turned out," she said in a phone interview Monday. "(But) just to have it said yet again that this is Whitney's last performance, it's hard. It's hard."
Houston is listed as the executive producer of the movie, which had already finished filming in Detroit when the superstar died Feb. 11 at 48 in Beverly Hills, Calif., on the eve of the Grammy Awards. An autopsy has shown she accidentally drowned in the bathtub, with heart disease and cocaine use listed as contributing factors.
There is no mention made of drugs in the trailer, and Chase declined to say whether it would be a focal part of the movie as it was in the original, saying she didn't want to talk specifically about the plotlines until closer to the movie's release date.
She also added that the movie was not altered to increase Houston's time in the film in the wake of her death.
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