Whitney Houston Lifetime Movie in the Works, Angela Bassett Directing
Well, this should be interesting. A movie based on the life of the late Whitney Houston is in the works at Lifetime, the network announced on Thursday, May 22. Set for a 2015 world premiere, the made-for-TV film will be directed by actress Angela Bassett—who costarred with Houston in the 1995 drama Waiting to Exhale.
According to a press release for the biopic, Whitney Houston chronicles "the headline-making relationship between the iconic singer, actress, producer, and model, and singer-songwriter Bobby Brown—from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity, to their courtship and tumultuous marriage." (The late pop superstar was married to Brown, 45, from 1992 to 2007; they had a daughter together, Bobbi Kristina, now 21.)
Bassett, 55, who previously collaborated with Lifetime on the 2013 original movie Betty & Coretta, said in a statement that she's taking the project very seriously. "I have such regard for both Whitney's and Bobby's amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story," she said.
"Their humanity and bond fascinates us all," the statement continued. "I'm beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world." (This is not the first time the couple's relationship has been documented on camera; they costarred on the Bravo reality show Being Bobby Brown in 2005.)
Entertainment Weekly notes that Bassett is not starring in the title role but may have another part in the film, which was written by Shem Bitterman. Further details about the cast were not immediately available.
Houston was just 48 years old when she was found dead of an "accidental drowning" in 2012, just hours before she was scheduled to attend Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party; the "Greatest Love of All" singer's substance abuse problems were well known. After her death, Bassett released a statement expressing her grief over the loss.
"I am so thankful to have been enveloped by the warmth of Whitney's great talents," she said. "They were undeniable and vast. Whatever her burdens, she has at last laid them down and picked up instead a crown. For truly, she was and will ever be for us—who were so captivated by her strengths—unparalleled."