“Whitney,” directed by Kevin Macdonald, provides never-before-seen performance and other video footage of the star, her family, fans and friends. It includes interviews “with the people who knew her best,” according to a description for the film.
“I approached Whitney’s life like a mystery story; why did someone with so much raw talent and beauty self-destruct so publicly and painfully? I was lucky enough to have the support of Pat Houston and the Whitney Houston estate in this quest,” MacDonald said in a previous statement, according to Rolling Stone. “They entrusted me with the ‘keys to the vault’ while giving me complete freedom to follow the story wherever it went. At heart, Whitney is an intimate family story that reveals a new side to a woman that even her most die-hard fans never knew.”
The film is the third major one made on the singer after her death. In 2017, “Whitney: Can I Be Me” was released. That documentary, which debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival, gave a look at the singer’s rise to fame and personal life struggles, examining rumors that Houston was secretly in love with and had a relationship with her best friend Robyn Crawford. The film, which aired on Showtime, was not approved by Houston’s estate.
A 2015 Lifetime biopic called “Whitney” was also unauthorized by the family. It was directed by Angela Bassett, who became friends with Houston when they costarred on “Waiting to Exhale.” Houston’s sister and estate manager Pat Houston issued a lengthy statement criticizing the movie.
“I say this to all Whitney’s family, friends and fan base: If you watch this movie, watch it knowing that Lifetime is notorious for making bad biopics of deceased celebrities and brace yourself for the worst,” the statement said.
Cissy Houston, Clive Davis, Bobby Brown and Kevin Costner are among those who knew the late singer appearing in the film. Houston died in 2012 from an accidental drowning in her bathtub after years of drug abuse.
Watch the teaser trailer for “Whitney” below. The film is in theaters July 6.