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Whitney Houston Lifetime movie in the works

Whitney Houston Lifetime movie in the works
Angela Bassett to direct Lifetime film based on Whitney Houston's relationship with Bobby Brown

More than two years after her tragic death, a TV film based on the life of Whitney Houston is in the works.

Lifetime announced it will debut a biopic of the late pop diva next year, the network said Thursday.

Titled “Whitney Houston,” the film will chronicle the singer’s highly publicized, tumultuous relationship with R&B singer Bobby Brown from the time they first met at an awards show during the peak of their fame, to their courtship and troubled marriage.

Acclaimed actress Angela Bassett, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her portrayal of Tina Turner, will make her directorial debut with the film.

“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,” Bassett said in a statement. “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 Brown's 15-year marriage certainly wasn’t short on made-for-TV drama.

With rumors of Brown’s infidelity, allegations of domestic abuse and the couple’s drug use – which became frequent fodder for comedians and shows like “MadTV” – it was rare to see a gossip rag without them on the cover.

Although substance abuse was a culprit in the demise of her music and film career, and ultimately her life, plenty of fingers also pointed toward Houston’s relationship with Brown.

She was at the pinnacle of pop royalty and he was an R&B lothario with a bad boy streak. But the popular belief that Brown introduced Houston to drugs was finally put to rest when the singer’s mother released her 2013 memoir. 

The film will be produced by the Sanitsky Co. Larry Sanitsky will serve as executive producer. Shem Bitterman penned the script.

Houston’s life isn’t uncharted territory for Lifetime.

Following her 2012 death, the network aired a documentary series that chronicled the lives of her family members, including her and Brown’s daughter Bobbi Kirstina trying to pick up the pieces in the wake of her death.

“Whitney Houston” is slated for a 2015 premiere.   

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times
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