Whitney Houston was also one of five executive producers on the movie, having acquired remake rights around the year 2000. Her original plan was to have singer Aaliyah star as Sparkle, until the singer died in a plane crash in August 2001.
Whitney Houston's last film - she died during post production. The picture was to be an acting comeback for the singer, who had not appeared in a theatrical release since The Preacher's Wife (1996) in 1996. The film is dedicated to her memory.
Irene Cara, star of the original Sparkle (1976) had met Whitney Houston several times. She said, ""I remember seeing her mother, Cissy, when I was little, [...] I remember seeing her sing in New York. They were doing a tribute to Burt Bacharach. When Whitney came on to the scene, every time I saw her I saw a little bit of her mother in her." Cara wanted to attend the premiere of the remake, but was not able due to a recent foot surgery.