“Sparkle,” a feature film about a musical sister act that’s set in Detroit at the peak of the Motown era, has been approved for $3.1 million in Michigan film incentives. The movie is a remake of the 1976 movie starring Irene Cara, Lonette McKee and Philip Michael Thomas that is set in Harlem and said to be inspired by the story of the Supremes. This version will be directed by Salim Akil, who helmed 2011’s “Jumping the Broom,” and produced by Debra Martin Chase, TD Jakes, and Akil and his wife, Mara, who were creative partners on the BET series “The Game.” The story will follow a group of sisters as they take their careers from small jazz clubs to the Fox Theatre.
The original movie opened with a long tracking shot that runs along a gospel choir and then out back into the church. This is Harlem in 1958, and we soon meet our heroines, three neighborhood sisters. I mean, they’re “sisters,” but they’re also sisters. And the oldest one is Sister, played by Lonette McKee, the middle girl named Sparkle, played by Irene Cara, and some third sister. Sister is the oldest [and she looks to be 35 while Irene Cara really looks like a teenager], and she’s a sassy little rebel from the start.