The Detroit of the 1960s Motown era is lovingly re-created in the new trailer for "Sparkle," which was released this morning.
The preview on Yahoo! Movies is the first extended look at Whitney Houston's final movie project, a reboot of the original 1976 "Sparkle." It was filmed in October and November in Detroit, just a few months before the singing icon's demise.
From this glimpse, the film looks like a vivid trip back in time to the Motor City's musical glory days, the setting for the story.
"Girl groups are hotter than ever right now," says a character, an obvious nod to Motown greats like the Supremes and Martha & the Vandellas.
Not since "Real Steel" (2011) has a movie featured so much of the Motor City, and in such a flattering light.
Cliff Bell's downtown jazz club looks glittering and glamorous in scenes with Jordin Sparks, who plays the title character, and actresses Carmen Ejogo and Tika Sumpter, who portray her sisters in a singing group.
There also are scenes of:
-- Houston singing "His Eye Is On the Sparrow" at the Iroquois Avenue Christ Lutheran Church in Indian Village.
-- A Columbia Records office painted retro robin's-egg-blue, which is actually an upper-floor office of the One Woodward Avenue building in downtown Detroit.
-- The brightly lit marquee of the Fillmore Detroit theater, where Sparkle is supposed to be performing.
Executives connected to the movie have praised Detroit for its backdrops.
"When people see the movie, they'll see how beautiful it is. That's because of the locations that Detroit offers," said Peter Nelson, senior vice president of production for Stage 6 Films and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions, who spoke when he was here in March for the Uptown Film Festival in Birmingham.
"Sparkle' opens Aug. 17. The cast also includes Cee Lo Green, Derek Luke and Mike Epps.
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