Would you be willing to take a leap of faith to fulfill your career ambitions?
For 19-year-old Sparkle (portrayed by American Idol winner and Grammy-nominated recording artist Jordin Sparks), an innocent, cheerful young woman growing up in late 1960s’ Detroit, making that leap has rewards and consequences.
In her quest to be a star, Sparkle, who grew up admiring her mother and sisters and loving everything about singing, discovers love, disappointment, independence and courage.
Presented by Tristar Pictures in association with Stage 6 Films, SPARKLE is a movie about three sisters who love each other fiercely and form a group as a way of capitalizing on the Motown sound sweeping the USA. Due to their combination of talent and good looks, it seems as if they are going to take the music world by storm.
However, looming over them is their mother, Emma (portrayed by executive producer Whitney Houston, in her last film performance), who isn’t necessarily supportive of their dream. In addition, hard realities about life in the limelight threaten to tear at the fabric of their family.
Riveting and soul-stirring, SPARKLE is a cautionary reminder of the high price of fame.
Directed by Salim Akil (Jumping the Broom), and written by his wife, Mara Brock Akil (“The Game”, “Girlfriends”), this new version of SPARKLE is an ode to the original 1976 movie, modified to the music, fashion, lingo and turbulent times of the 1960s, while maintaining the emotional impact of the earlier film. The Akils were also co-producers of the film, along with Debra Martin Chase, T.D. Jakes, and Curtis Wallace.
One of the biggest differences in the new version of SPARKLE is its setting. Whereas the original movie was set in Harlem, the new movie is set in Detroit, the home of Motown.
“You had Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Beatles, music was changing, people’s political views were changing, and I felt it was important to set it in that time,” said Salim Akil in explaining the change of setting.
However, SPARKLE retains its focus on the consequences of choices and how they affect those you love, while reiterating the importance of family and faith.
In addition to Sparks and Houston, the film is led by a brilliant cast including Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick and Grammy-Award winner CeeLo Green.
“This cast is tremendous,” said Jakes. “They’re just as much fun off screen as they are on screen. I think they bring freshness to the characters, and an edge to the story that I think is very provocative for those of us who have seen the original Sparkle.
“To those who have never seen it, I think you’ll be riveted because the cast is quite believable, very talented, very gifted people, and though they have a lot of fun doing their job, they’re still very professional at being able to deliver cinematically the power of a very prolific and profound story.”
Chase, along with Houston, worked for over 12 years to remake the beloved 1976 film, because she believed in its theme of believing in oneself to make dreams come true.
“It’s about empowerment, it’s about wish fulfillment,” said Chase. “At one point in the movie, Sparkle has to confront her big dream and own it because if you don’t own it, you can’t achieve it. So no, it’s not a rags to riches story because it’s not about money. It’s about fulfilling your destiny, realizing your gifts and using them.”
For more information, visit www.sparkle-movie.ca.