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Whitney Houston Biopic Won't Necessarily Cast An African-American Actress To Portray Legend

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WHITNEY HOUSTON BIOPIC
Rumors swirl about actresses who might be potential candidates for a Whitney Houston biopic. | AP

Less than a week after Whitney Houston was laid to rest, at least one major network has already been discussing the production of a biopic of the late legend's life and even a televised live farewell concert.

"Obviously nothing will be done unless the family is supportive, but this would give them a chance to have a say in their daughter's legacy, plus potentially make a lot of money," a production insider tells me. "It would be a one-off massive concert where fans could buy tickets to hear all the songs Whitney sang and even have a charity component to it. But the bigger idea is organizing a film that tells the life of Whitney Houston, including the good and the bad."

Rihanna and Oscar-winning "Dreamgirls" star Jennifer Hudson are said to be at the top of the list of actresses under consideration to portray Houston. Vivica A. Fox, Jordin Sparks and even Will Smith's young daughter, Willow -- eyed for the role of a young Whitney -- have seen their names circling amid rumors of a Whitney biopic.

Tina Turner's movie "What's Love Got to Do with It" landed two Oscar nominations for Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne, and producers hope Houston's story will do the same for whomever they cast.

"It doesn't necessarily need to be a great singer to play the role," the insider tells me. "I'm sure they will use Whitney's voice for the songs. What they are looking for is a great actress, someone that can bring to life both the pain and the joy Whitney experienced. Does she have to be an African-American actress? Not necessarily."

The biggest obstacle for producers, however, will be convincing Whitney's former label chief and mentor, Clive Davis, to be on board.

"No one has brought this to his attention," a friend of Davis tells me. "I'm sure down the road something like this will happen, but for the moment he is still too consumed with grief."

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