It’s just business. There’s money to be made.
Howard Rosenman, the producer and co-writer of the original Sparkle movie, as well as exec producer of the 2012 remake sold the book rights to the film to Simon & Schuster, a reported 6 weeks ago. The plan of course is to release a novelization of the movie, which is already been adapted, to be on the market conveniently 10 days prior to the film’s opening on August 7.
Rosenman also revealed to THR that he’s once again teaming up with Joel Schumacher (writer of the original film) to add 5 new songs (in addition to existing tracks by Curtis Mayfield and R. Kelly) for a “full-blown” Broadway musical interpretation of the film.
Of course, one can’t help recognize the similarities between this and Dreamgirls, which was a Broadway musical, long before the film adaptation in 2006. In fact, wasn’t the original Sparkle movie (released in 1976) an inspiration for the initial Dreamgirls Broadway production of 1981?
No word on what their expected ETA is for Sparkle on Broadway to be realized; but I recall Rosenman did tell Forbes magazine a few months ago that he planned to begin work on the Broadway adaptation “once the movie has its run” this summer. So maybe sometime in 2013.
Rosenman said he’s seen footage from the film and is very excited about this remake, believing the he has a definite hit on his hands, and adding that Whitney Houston is “very good” in it.
“And I can tell you this one is so much better. And people will be blown away by Whitney. She sings gospel, and she’s phenomenal… And believe me, we didn’t need this publicity. I’d rather have her back right now,” Rosenman said.
Although it seems like Sony felt differently because, as THR adds…
… sensing potential for the film’s numbers after Houston’s sudden death, [Sony] sent a lot of notes to Sparkle director Salim Akil, whose wife Mara Brock Akil penned the screenplay. Unfortunately, at that time, Akil was close to a final cut of the film. When THR’s Kim Masters interviewed him for an upcoming episode of KCRW’s The Business, she noted that she had heard directives had even come from Sony CEO Michael Lynton’s wife, Jamie.
Certainly no shame in their game. It’s a family affair. This is as close to an acknowledgement from a studio of its intent to exploit a stars death for profit. I’m now really curious what these numerous notes and directives Sony brass sent to Salim Akil; don’t leave any footage of Whitney on the cutting room floor, perhaps?