SPARKLE Interview w/ Debra Martin Chase

 In November of 2011 Black Tree Media had the pleasure of sitting down with the late great Whitney Houston and her dear friend and business partner Debra Martin Chase to talk about the movie Sparkle which they were remaking after a 12 year fight to bring it to the screen. It was such a great moment to sit across from what can easily be described as one of the greatest vocalist of all time and Debra Martin Chase who has been a trailblazer in a number of ways here in Hollywood for a few decades now. Interesting thing I learned from the conversation, was that in the making of this movie, first Aaliyah was cast and was scheduled to travel to Los Angeles to sign the paperwork on the Tuesday following her tragic death due to a plane crash. Aaliyah had agreed to do Sparkle after reading the screenplay that E. Lynn Harris wrote, he would later die. I remember sitting there in that interview thinking wow 2 people died making this movie, and thinking to myself about the cliche.... and then we lost Whitney....

Detroit, 1968. The Motown sound is sweeping the nation. Girl groups are hotter than ever. Over their mother's (Whitney Houston) objections, three beautiful sisters—Delores (Tika Sumpter), Sister (Carmen Ejogo) and Sparkle (Jordin Sparks) —are taking the local music scene by storm. But their dreams are bigger than Detroit. Their manager, Stix (Derek Luke), is just as ambitious and will do whatever it takes to make it to the big time, even if it means using the girls—and his love for Sparkle—as the foundation of a new musical empire. Behind the music and lights, the recording industry is a ruthless and unforgiving place, just as Mama had warned her girls. Sister, with her good looks and voice, is the natural headliner of the trio, yet her complicated personal life threatens to overshadow her talent; Delores has her sights set on a different kind of life outside the spotlight; and young Sparkle must push past her deepest fears if she is to fulfill her destiny—does she really have what it takes to go all the way? Riveting and soul-stirring, this timeless tale reminds us of the unbreakable bonds between family, the high price of fame and what can happen when we dare to show the world how brightly we can sparkle.

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