After disappointing viewers with stinkers about Saved by the Bell and Aaliyah, Lifetime may be redeeming itself with its upcoming biopic, Whitney. It’s also making us rethink the track record of America’s Next Top Model alumni.
The trailer for the Angela Bassett-directed biopic, which premieres on January 17, premiered on Youtube on Friday. And, it looks a little more polished than recent predecessors. For one, the cast bears a much closer resemblance to the real-life people. Yaya DaCosta — known forever in our hearts as ANTM Cycle Three runner-up — has the bone structure and bearing to present a believable Whitney Houston. (Though when she exclaims, “I’m getting married!” she seems much more like an ANTM contestant calling “Tyra Mail!” than the world-renowned diva.) The brief look we get at Mark Rolston as Whitney’s mentor Clive Davis is also pretty spot-on. Arlen Escarpeta doesn’t exactly look like Bobby Brown, but we’ll reserve judgment for now.
Just like with Aaliyah, Princess of R&B, the movie is going forth without the blessing of Houston’s family. That’s probably why Bassett’s film has employed a different singer, Deborah Cox, to cover the music. Based on the trailer, which includes “I’m Every Woman” and “I Will Always Love You,” Cox’s versions come close enough to those bone-chilling, soaring Whitney vocals to not shatter the illusion.
The movie focuses on Whitney and Bobby’s tumultuous relationship, and not, it seems, on her tragic accidental overdose in 2012. Which means we can already tell that there will be the requisite drug scenes, door slamming, and pep talks that make for a juicy biopic. Check it out below.