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When a huge celebrity dies, especially if it’s a tragic death, a film paying tribute to their life is usually soon to follow. Accordingly, after Whitney Houston’s death in 2012 — due to a combination of heart disease, cocaine and accidental drowning — there was immediate talk about who would play her in a film about her life.
Only a few months after the singer’s death, Lifetime began preproduction on a biopic, with Whitney’s friend and fellow actress, Angela Bassett, directing. However, Whitney’s family members and estate slammed the film, which was also widely rejected by fans and critics alike.
A number of unauthorized documentaries were also released in the years following her death, including one by ABC News and Dateline NBC.
Yesterday, however, it was announced that a new official documentary, authorized by Whitney Houston’s estate, is in the works. Produced by Lightbox Media and directed by Academy Award winner Kevin Macdonald, the film is said to tell the complete story of Whitney’s life with interviews from her closest friends and family members. It will also include an interview with Clive Davis, the founder of Arista Records, who is credited for bringing Whitney to fame.
The film will feature never before seen footage of Whitney at a young age, before her rise to fame, in addition to rare and exclusive audio recordings. Kevin Macdonald was adamant that he and his fellow filmmakers do justice to Whitney’s memory.
“Although we won’t shy away from the darker parts of Whitney’s life — her descent into addiction — I want audiences to walk out of the cinema and feel positive about Whitney and her music. I want to reveal a woman that even her most die-hard fans never knew; and a woman those new to her life and music will never forget,” he said in a statement to Variety.
Meanwhile, fellow UK documentary director, Nick Broomfield, who also did Kurt & Courtney and Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, is working on his own Whitney Houston documentary. Although his is unauthorized like the others that have come before, its release may steal some thunder from the official documentary due to the controversial nature of Nick’s films.