By even the most generous estimates, we’re not going to be able to begin remaking the movies of the ’00s until at least 2016 or so, which means you’ll have to wait at least another four to five years before we can update 2006’s Dreamgirls—though that probably depends on Willow Smith’s response to experimental growth hormone therapy. But in the meantime, you can probably settle for a remake of that musical’s original inspiration, the 1976 film Sparkle, which similarly fictionalizes the rise and fall of The Supremes and even boasts a main character named “Effie,” so Dreamgirls fans should feel right at home.
Of course, Sparkle is a slightly darker affair than Dreamgirls, with a requisite ’70s subplot involving drug abuse and Harlem gangsters—here updated to a cocaine-abusing stand-up comic, played by Mike Epps—and the Mafia’s influence in the record industry. But otherwise there’s the familiar-to-Dreamgirls-fans trajectory involving jealousy, infighting, and a more talented singer being overshadowed by the group’s sexier member, and as a bonus, another American Idol alum, Jordin Sparks, taking over for the original's Irene Cara as the titular character, thus making her debut acting role.
Mara Brock and Salim Akil, the married duo behind BET’s The Game, will write and direct, while Whitney Houston is reportedly in talks to play the girls’ mother, which would be her first film since 1996’s The Preacher’s Wife, and thus the first opportunity for a movie studio’s insurance company to freak out about Whitney Houston. No word yet on who could replace the original’s Philip Michael Thomas—though honestly, we’ve been asking ourselves that for years.