Updated Feb. 14 at 12:15 p.m.
Sparkle producer Bishop T.D. Jakes is offering his condolences for Whitney Houston’s tragic death.
T.D. was one of the last people to work with Whitney, as she is set to star in the forthcoming remake of Sparkle. Production for the film had long since wrapped up by the time of her passing.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic and untimely passing of Whitney Houston," T.D. said in a statement. "At the apex of her career, Whitney had no peer. With a voice that shaped a generation, she has left behind a musical and film legacy that will endure…. she will be sorely missed by us all."
He also spoke more on the loss and Whitney’s work on Sparkle at a church service following her death. "We didn’t know it would be the final film that she would do," T.D. told his congregation. "She was amazing on the set, and there’s so many things to be said about her talent and her fierce quality."
The film will be released in August, but moviegoers shouldn’t expect a carbon copy of the original when Sparkle comes to theaters.
S2S exclusively found out from Bishop T.D. Jakes, one of the film’s producers, that the update has undergone some changes from the original. Mainly, it won’t be as hardcore as the original.
"If you remember the original Sparkle, there was a lot of drugs and domestic violence and all of that kind of stuff," T.D. told S2S. "There’s still some, but it’s not nearly as much. Yet I think its a riveting depiction of a movie that we all loved and adored."
Viewers looking forward to the film shouldn’t be scared away from concerns of a complete overhaul. T.D. said he feels that Sparkle writer Mara Brock Akil did a great job of sticking to the original material while updating it for new audiences.
"I think it will be Sparkle, but it has a new form to it. It has less gratuitous violence and profanity, yet we delivered a very strong story," T.D. assured.
As producer, the bishop, who was also behind the 2011 hit Jumping the Broom, was always on set to ensure the integrity of the film.
"We were on the set every day looking at the script, working on the script," T.D. said. "For me it was really fun to be there and just to work with the caliber of actors [we had]."
This incarnation of Sparkle sees much of the creative team from Jumping the Broom reuniting as Mara’s husband Salim Akil directed the new film. Overall, T.D. feels that fans of the original will truly enjoy the remake, which will still be set in the ’60s, as the project is in very capable hands.
"I think it’s going to be great," he said. "I’m really excited about it. I think people are going to love it."
It’s expected by many people that Sparkle will be dedicated to Whitney when it comes out.
‘Sparkle’ remake cast fills out