As promised, we’ve uncovered a few additional details about the forthcoming Sparkle remake from Salim and Mara Brock Akil.
The project moves forward with Mara Brock Akil as writer/producer, Salim Akil as director/producer, and Curtis Wallace and Rev. TD Jakes (also from Jumping the Broom) still on board. Hollywood “powerbroker” Debra Martin Chase also joins the team as producer.
Notably, we’ve learned that this Sparkle will not be a modern re-telling of the original version, but is shaping up to be set in the 1960s. We can quibble about whether that’s a good idea, since the original film was set in a similar era (Harlem, 1958). I suspect one of the reasons for keeping the film as a period piece may be to retain the sense of nostalgia that most Sparkle lovers seem to hold dear. After all, what would Sparkle be without the classic costumes and faux-Black power dialogue?
Still, making the new Sparkle a period piece begs another question, which is how will this film distinguish itself from Dreamgirls (2006), which is terribly similar to Sparkle in plot, style and costuming? And with the new script said to be based on Joel Schumacher’s subpar 1970s screenplay, we can only hope for a serious rewrite.
Shooting is scheduled to take place this fall in Detroit, although there’s still no word on who will play Sparkle (originally portrayed by Irene Cara) or her stern mother Effie, played by Mary Alice in the ’70s version.