Sunday, April 21, 2024

“Sparkle” Remake Will Reprise Curtis Mayfield Hits


“Sparkle,” a great but forgotten musical film from 1976, is getting a remake. Howard Rosenman and Joel Schumacher–they wrote the script for the original–are producing it, with husband/wife team Mara Brock Akil and director Salim Akil running the show. “Sparkle,” from Sony, preceded “Dreamgirls”–it was on screen before “Dreamgirls” made it to Broadway. Now with its remake, I’m told the film include several of the original songs Curtis Mayfield wrote for the 1976 movie including the hit “Giving Him Something He Can Feel.” Aretha Franklin sang all the songs from “Sparkle” and had a hit soundtrack album. The new producers are keen on Aretha participating again. My guess is they will also want either Jennifer Hudson or Beyonce to be included as well– even though they were each featured in the “Dreamgirls” movie. Making “Sparkle” is a gamble, especially with an all black cast. “Dreamgirls” turned out to be a harder sell than anyone thought. But Rosenman and Schumacher can pull it off, believe me. And there are lots of talented actols to take the parts originated by Lonette McKee, Irene Cara, Philip Michael Thomas and Dorian Harewood–like Montego Glover, Melinda Doolittle, Anthony Mackie, and Derek Luke–and that’s just for starters!

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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