Lifetime’s upcoming Whitney Houston biopic appears to be moving forward, with the announcement that Arlen Escarpeta has been cast as Bobby Brown. But despite the fact filming has just begun the movie is already being seen as controversial, with the late singer’s family voicing their objections. So what do we know already about the film and what aspects of Houston’s life can we expect it to focus on?

Yaya DaCosta as Whitey HoustonYaya DaCosta in character as Whitey Houston

The Cast

Former ‘America’s Next Top Model’ contestant Yaya DaCosta has been cast in the lead role as the troubled singer. The 31 year old switched careers from modelling to acting back in 2005 and has so far appeared in films such as Tron Legacy and The Butler. But DaCosta wont be rerecording any of Houston’s famous hits. Instead singer Deborah Cox will attempt to mimic Houston’s trademark vocals for the soundtrack. Also cast is Brotherhood actor Arlen Escarpeta who will star as Houston’s former husband Bobby Brown, while veteran Mark Rolston will play the singer’s mentor Clive Davis.

The Crew

Interestingly the film will be directed by Houston’s Waiting To Exhale co-star Angela Bassett. While Bassett has no prior directing credits to her name, she does have plenty of experience with biopics, having previously played Tina Turner, Rosa Parks and Katherine Jackson, among others. Speaking about her directorial debut, Bassett has said, “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.” Three time Emmy nominee Larry Sanitsky is on board as executive producer, while Shem Bitterman has written the screenplay.

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