Whitney Houston’s estate has officially approved a documentary on the star’s life. Scottish director Kevin Macdonald, who took home the Best Documentary Oscar in 2000, will helm the project.
The “unvarnished and authentic” film will feature interviews with the singer’s family and friends. It will delve into what made Whitney a tremendous singer, from her gospel roots to her foray into being the queen of pop music for her time. The director says the project will not gloss over the gritty bits, either.
It won’t “shy away from the darker parts of Whitney’s life,” he tells the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
According to the Hollywood Reporter: “The story that is never told about Whitney is just how brilliant she was as an artist. By many measures, she had the greatest voice of the last 50 years,” said Macdonald, who recently directed the pilot episode of J.J. Abrams’ science fiction thriller series 11.22.63. “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.”
Whitney died in 2012 and since then her life story has already been turned into a movie by Lifetime, where Yaya DaCosta portrayed the singer. The BBC is also reportedly working on an unofficial Whitney film as well. As for Macdonald, he directed The Last King of Scotland, featuring Forest Whitaker, so he definitely knows what he’s doing. Plus, he presumably got permission from Cissy to do this, and Clive Davis is also expected to appear in the documentary.
Adrienne Samuels Gibbs is a Chicago-based writer. Follow her @adriennewrites.