'Sparkle': Whitney Houston's final film to be released in August

jordin-sparks-whitney-houston-sparkle-columbia.jpgEven in death, Whitney Houston's ties to "American Idol" remain strong.

Her songs have long been a staple of over-reaching "Idol" wannabes and Sunday's Grammy Awards will close with a tribute sung by one time "Idol" contestant Jennifer Hudson. And come this August, her final film starring Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks will get its theatrical release.

Houston, who's last feature film with 1996's "The Preacher's Wife," optioned the remake of the 1976 film (which starred Irene Cara) 12 years ago in 2000. She will play the mother of three sisters who form a 1950s girl group before being torn apart by one's drug addition and another -- Sparkle's (Sparks) -- rise to solo fame.

Aaliyah was originally meant for the Sparkle role prior to her death in a 2001 plane crash.

Derek Luke, Mike Epps, Carmen Ejogo, Tika Sumpter, Omari Harwick and Cee-Lo Green also star.
Photo/Video credit: Columbia Pictures