Mara Brock Akil and her husband, director Salim Akil, are bringing Sparkle back to the big screen.
Producer Debra Martin-Chase told S2S that Sony Pictures is developing a remake of Sparkle, which tells the tale of a musical sister act that makes it big.
But if you’re unfamiliar with Sparkle, don’t mistake it for Dreamsgirls; the producer said there are some distinct factors that set Sparkle and Dreamgirls apart.
“The plots are very different. I mean, Sparkle‘s much darker,” Debra said. “It has some real things about ‘what price are you willing to pay for success?’”
Sparkle, also inspired by the story of The Supremes, is set in late ’50s Harlem and follows the lives of the Williams sisters. The trio starts their career by singing in the choir, but their sudden entrance into the spotlight takes a huge toll on their personal lives and value sets.
Debra shared that the film will be written and directed by the Akils, so the project is in good hands! After all, Mara created “Girlfriends” and “The Game,” and her husband Salim directs “The Game” and he helmed the romantic comedy Jumping The Broom, due in May.
And it’s safe to say that Debra knows a good thing when she sees it because she’s the producer behind The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and its sequel. She’s also credited as a producer on The Cheetah Girls franchise for the Disney Channel.
Speaking of Disney, next month the network will debut Debra’s next musical, Lemonade Mouth, starring Tisha Campbell-Martin.
Lemonade Mouth focuses on a group of high school misfits who somehow form a successful band at their school. They’re brought together by Tisha’s character, Miss Reznick, while the kids are all sitting in detention one day.
“Miss Reznick is the one who sees the magic and encourages them to develop it and tells them that they need to be heard,” Debra explained.
While Tisha’s had a great career thus far, starring in “Martin” and “My Wife and Kids,” getting to the Disney channel is the best thing she’s done—at least according to her oldest son, 10-year-old Xen.
“Out of all the stuff she’s done,” Debra shared, “her son told her when she decided to do the movie, ‘Now, you’re doing something important, mom. You’re doing a Disney Channel movie!’”
Watch out for Tisha in Lemonade Mouth when it premieres on April 15 at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel. The Sparkle remake is still in development.
— Sonya Eskridge