Because we live in a world where celebrity death can be seen as a screenwriting opportunity, plans are underway for a Whitney Houston biopic just one week after family members laid her to rest with a private funeral. The Daily Mail reports that record producer and Houston mentor Clive Davis is shopping a film about the singer’s life, with hopes to have a script finalized “as soon as possible,” in order to green-light filming. And similarly to reports last year that Amy Winehouse’s family is considering a film about their late daughter with a pop star at the helm, Rihanna is on the short list for Davis’ Houston project. Other actresses in contention include Vivica A. Fox, Jennifer Hudson and Jordin Sparks, while Willow Smith has mentioned as a possible younger version of the star. In 2011 Rihanna turned down the opportunity to star in a remake of Houston’s quintessential film, The Bodyguard, explaining she wanted to challenge herself by playing someone other than a performer; later this year she’ll star as Petty Officer Raikes in Peter Berg’s Battleship.
A case can be made for all three of the other actresses in consideration to play Houston, though the slightly uncomfortable similarity Rihanna happens to share with the late singer is a history with abusive relationships, and the way they can play out in the media. Plans to make a Houston film were reportedly in the works before her death—along the lines of What’s Love Got To Do With It—yet one week after her burial still feels a little icky to be revisiting old business. Stay tuned, as there will likely be a lot more to come on the subject.