The life and career of Whitney Houston will be the focus of an upcoming documentary made with the approval of the legendary singer’s estate.
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, the Oscar-winning filmmaker behind One Day in September and the Bob Marley documentary Marley, Whitney features “previously unreleased recordings, rare never-before-seen footage and live performances recorded by Houston at various stages her life, as well as original studio recordings and acapellas of some of the late singer’s greatest hits.”
A “definitive look” at Houston’s legacy, Macdonald had access to the estate’s vast archives, including previously unseen personal home movie footage.
Macdonald said of the film in a statement, “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. 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.”
“To tell Whitney’s story, you have to know her story,” Patricia Houston, the singer’s manager and the executor of Houston’s estate, added. “We could not be more excited that Whitney’s fans will have this authoritative and definitive documentary chronicling the full arc or her career and the scope of Whitney’s entire life. This is an amazing retrospective that celebrates Whitney with never-before-seen footage and Kevin approaches her life with no blinders on. He captures all of Whitney’s magic, and he does not ignore the hard times. This is a film that will truly thrill all who knew and loved her as a musician, actress, model and so much more.”
Roadside Attractions and Miramax will release Whitney to theaters on July 6th.
In 2017, documentarian Nick Broomfield, the director of the controversial Kurt & Courtney and Biggie & Tupac, released Whitney: Can I Be Me, a solemn and unflinching look at the singer’s career and downfall. The Houston estate denounced that documentary, which premiered on Showtime last year.
“I could have told the story about the estate trying to close me down at every moment, but I did genuinely fall in love with Whitney and just thought she had such an amazing talent,” Broomfield told Rolling Stone in 2017. “She had such an incredible wit about her that I just wanted to devote all that time to telling her story… I didn’t want to end up making a bitchy film about them trying to close me down.”