Lifetime, which is slowly turning into the channel where our musical dreams die, has set the premiere date for Whitney, the much anticipated biopic of the late and great singer Whitney Houston. While we certainly miss Nippy and have her greatest performances on repeat, we’d be remiss if we weren’t already side-eyeing the project, which will grace our screens on January 17, 2015. As you already know, model and actress Yaya DeCosta plays Whitney and the movie is directed by Whitney’s former cast mate and friend Angela Bassett. This is Angela’s directorial debut but we’d like to think she knows a thing or two about biopics after the success of What’s Love Got To Do With It, Malcolm X, The Rosa Parks Story and the many others she’s been a part of. Bassett and Lifetime also collaborated on last year’s Betty & Coretta, but we digress.
Unlike the unfortunate Aaliyah movie, Whitney will actually include some of her music. “The Greatest Love of All,” “I’m Your Baby Tonight,” “I’m Every Woman,” and “I Will Always Love You” will each appear, but just like the Aaliyah disaster, it won’t include her vocals, with powerhouse singer Deborah Cox stepping in to provide the voice behind the songs. The singer’s family wasn’t totally on board (another similarity to the Aaliyah movie), and, of course, the casting of significant others in these biopics seems to fall by the wayside. Bobby Brown will be played by Arlen Escarpeta, and his appearance in promotional photos has aleady been dragged in the Internet mud. Since the movie focuses on Whitney’s relationship with Bobby Brown, we’re hoping this casting decision changes our mind once we see him act. Speaking of hope, we can also only hope hashtags like #LifetimeBeLike don’t resurface. But, considering the channel’s track record, I guess we’ll be on social media duty to catch your commentary on what we see on our screens. Let’s cross our fingers, hold digital hands and whisper a collective prayer before we check out Whitney on January 17th at 8 pm ET/PT.