Whitney's mother, Emily Drinkard Houston was also a singer who sang backup for high-profile artists like Aretha Franklin and Elvis Pressley. We'd like to suggest Viola Davis as young Whitney's mother.
This might not be the most realistic casting choice, but we'd love it if Jamie Foxx would play Bobby Brown, Whitney's husband of 15 years with whom she had a very turbulent relationship. Foxx can act, he can sing, and he could probably pull-off a flat-top and a black, leather jumpsuit with '80s power shoulders.
Since Whitney Houston's death, the media has speculated about who should portray the singer in a biopic. Names that often pop up include Rihanna and Jennifer Hudson. Our pick, however, is Anika Noni Rose, who most recently starred opposite Denzel Washington in A Raisin in the Sun. Rose is talented, serious, and can sing very well. She's also worked with Lifetime before, so hopefully she is already on their radar.
As a child, Whitney was surrounded by some pretty interesting people: her cousins Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick, her godmother Darlene Wright, her "honorary aunt" Aretha Franklin, and Chaka Khan, for whom she sang backup vocals when she was only 15. Should the film include any flashbacks to her younger years, we think Willow Smith would make a nice young Whitney.
For Aretha Franklin, who was in her late 20s when she met Whitney, we'd like to suggest Jordin Sparks. Yes, the former American Idol contestant is quite a bit smaller than Franklin, but we're positive that Sparks and the costume designers can work something out.
We think there should be at least one scene set in the present day featuring Whitney and Bobbi's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown. Zoë Kravitz would make a lovely Bobbi Kristina. As the daughter of two '80s celebrities herself, Kravitz could bring a certain insight to the role.