From director Kevin Macdonald ("Marley"), "Whitney", was executive produced by the Houston family and does not shy from the tragedy of the singer's drug abuse, emotional woe and the dizzying highs of her journey.
Still, the film circles back to relationships, including her marriage to Bobby Brown and close friendship with Robyn Crawford, who is described as Houston's "safety net". Described as the definitive story of the global superstar, the film features interviews with many of Houston's relatives and close acquaintances, two of whom make the claims against Warwick.
The first teaser trailer for the film came out in April.
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"There were times when I looked up to God and I'd go, 'Why is this happening to me?'" the singer says in one scene, seemingly pondering her rise to superstardom and the downfalls of fame. Another adds: "His heart was, he wanted to be on the stage. He wanted to be in the forefront, and eventually she stepped down to lift him up".
Other moments show Whitney Houston exhibiting some diva-like behavior, particularly when she shades fellow recording artist, Paula Abdul. "Paula Abdul ain't shit", she says. "That girl is singing off key on the record", she says, reclining in a white bath robe.
A celebrated soul and gospel performer in the 1960s and early 70s, Dee Dee Warwick's career was nevertheless overshadowed by the success of her sister, for whom she performed backing vocals towards the end of her career. "And then Nicole sent me this article about Whitney's rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner" and how that changed how the song has been understood and sung ever since" he explained. "So I think it was the combination of thinking there's this really interesting personal mystery, but also how this woman was a musical genius". Whitney premieres this Thursday at Cannes and is slated for a theatrical release July 6. Watch the trailer below.