Whitney Houston’s family has approved an official documentary on the late singer.
Variety reports the film will be directed by Kevin Macdonald and produced by Simon Chinn, both Oscar-winning filmmakers. The film is set to be introduced at the Cannes Film Festival and will have a theatrical release.
The documentary is currently untitled but details of the composition are known. Clive Davis, who is the founder and former president of Arista Records, will be interviewed. He is credited with discovering Houston when she was 19.
Family, friends and collaborators will also get to share their stories about the singer. Some have never been heard before. Their input will sculpt a picture of who Houston was as an artist.
“The story that is never told about Whitney is just how brilliant she was as an artist,” said Macdonald to Variety. “By many measures, she had the greatest voice of the last 50 years. She changed the way pop music was sung — bringing it back full circle to its blues and gospel roots. She was also completely unique in being a black pop star who sold in countries where black artists don’t traditionally sell.”
The film will also feature unseen footage tracing her rise to fame.
“We have access to never-before-seen footage of Whitney that charts her whole life from her beginnings singing in her church’s gospel choir to the day of her tragic death at the age of 48, and three decades of her music including exclusive demo recordings, rare performances and audio archive,” the director said.
He adds that the film will explore Whitney’s troubling addictions, but he wants audiences to discover something new about the iconic vocalist.
“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.”
Houston died in February 2012, and it had a profound effect on her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Brown’s boyfriend Nick Gordon opened up about her drug abuse to Dr. Phil on April 27 and 28. He said Brown would smoke socially while Houston was still alive, but after her mother’s death it “got really bad.”
“It was unfortunate, but at the time that’s kind of the only way we knew how to deal with what had happened,” Gordon said to Dr. Phil.
Brown would later die at age 22 after spending close to six months in a medically induced coma, Atlanta Black Star reports.
Gordon said that “regardless of what everybody thinks, I made Krissy and Whitney’s last few years on earth as happy as they would be. I gave them somebody to trust, to talk to, to be there, someone genuine.”