BET’s 'The Game' Showrunners to Remake 1976 Movie 'Sparkle' for Sony Pictures (Exclusive)
Sony Pictures and the creative team behind the hit BET series The Game are remaking Sparkle, the 1976 music-themed movie.
Mara Brock Akil, who created and executive produced Game and UPN’s Girlfriends, will write the script while husband Salim Akil, who has helmed every episode of Game and many episodes of Girlfriends, will direct.
Producing is Debra Martin Chase who spent years developing the remake, including an iteration that saw it being developed at Warner Bros. for Aaliyah to star. The Akils will co-produce via their Akil Production Co. banner.
The original Sparkle was inspired by the story of the Supremes, and centered on the three Williams sisters, who begin singing in their church choir in Harlem in the late 1950s and become a successful girl group. Their sudden rise unravels their personal lives. Irene Cara and Philip Michael Thomas starred in the original, distributed by Warner Bros, with a script by Joel Schumacher, who would go on to direct St. Elmo’s Fire and The Lost Boys, among others.
Salim Akil is making is feature directorial debut with Jumping the Broom, a social class comedy due to open May 6. The movie impressed Sony brass, who looked for another project for the Akils.
Both Akils serve as showrunners on Game, which began life at the CW, where it was cancelled after three seasons. It was resuscitated by BET, and upon its return in January, stunned the TV industry by drawing 7.7 million to its debut episode.
The duo are repped by ICM and attorney Stephen Barnes.