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Lifetime Announces Controversial Whitney Houston Biopic

The network known for made-for-TV movies announced Angela Bassett will helm a telefilm about the late singer's life. It's set for a 2015 premiere.
Posted at 3:42 PM, May 23, 2014

A Whitney Houston biopic was inevitable. But a Whitney Houston biopic on Lifetime? Really? 

That was the general reaction from the Internet after the network — known for its made-for-TV movies — announced it was fast-tracking a film about the late singer's life for a 2015 premiere. (Via TheWrap, MTV, Complex)  

And, no, this isn't the now-scrapped biopic Houston's longtime mentor Clive Davis was rumored to be readying in the weeks after she died. (Via IndieWire

The Lifetime film will reportedly track Houston's meteoric rise to stardom ... (Via Arista Records / Whitney Houston

Her tumultuous relationship with Bobby Brown ... (Via Bravo / "Being Bobby Brown"

All the highs ... (Via Warner Bros. / "The Bodyguard")

And lows ...

 

"I make too much money to ever smoke crack, OK?" (Via ABC

 

... of her career.

Then the comeback and her tragic death in February 2012. (Via OWN

The main concern here seems to be that Lifetime won't do justice to an icon like Houston's life story. 

The network's recent biopics — including the Elizabeth Taylor drama "Liz & Dick" starring Lindsay Lohan and the Anna Nicole Smith story — were, well, laughable. (Via Lifetime / 'Anna Nicole')

But those movies didn't have a widely respected name behind them. Houston's does: Angela Bassett. She's set to direct. In a statement posted by Entertainment Weekly, Bassett says:

"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. Their humanity and bond fascinates us all. I'm beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world."

Houston and Bassett were friends, having co-starred in the 1995 hit "Waiting to Exhale."

And Bassett has done justice to other icons on screen — she was Oscar-nominated for her role as Tina Turner in 1993's "What's Love Got To Do With It."

Still, Bustle says the new movie belongs with that movie: on the big screen. 

"There are biopics and then there are biopics — the definitive ones that everyone remembers. ... On Lifetime, unless a miracle happens, Bassett's Whitney Houston biopic will be grouped in with other Lifetime movies.​"

Lifetime was also home to "The Houstons: On Our Own," the controversial reality series that followed Whitney's daughter, Bobbi Kristina, as she grieved her mother's death. 

But Bassett has a good track record with network — she garnered critical praise for playing Coretta Scott King in last year's "Betty & Coretta." 

Still, Cinema Blend says Bassett is an untested director. This will be her first major project, so it will be interesting to see what she can do behind the camera. 

No word on when the movie will start production. Casting is still underway.