Lifetime has greenlighted Whitney Houston (working title), an original movie about the tragic music superstar who died in 2012. Helmed by Angela Bassett in her directorial debut, Whitney Houston is set for a 2015 premiere. It chronicles the tumultuous relationship between Houston and singer-songwriter Bobby Brown — from the time they first met at the very height of their celebrity through their courtship and rocky marriage, all during Whitney’s meteoric rise as a singer, actress and model. “I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments, and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story,” said Bassett. “Their humanity and bond fascinates us all.” Produced by The Sanitsky Co., Whitney Houston comes from executive producer Larry Sanitsky and writer Shem Bitterman, the team behind Lifetime’s 2013 movie Betty & Coretta. That telepic told the dual real-life stories of Coretta Scott King (Bassett) and Dr. Betty Shabazz (Mary J. Blige).
2013′s White House action hit Olympus Has Fallen will be sequelized as NuImage/Millennium Films bring returning stars Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman to London. This time around POTUS (Eckhart) and his trusted Secret Service bodyguard Mike Banning (Butler) plus an English MI6 agent are the only ones who can stop a plot to take down London during the Prime Minister’s funeral. Angela Bassett and Radha Mitchell also reprise their roles in London Has Fallen as the director of the Secret Service and Mike’s wife, respectively, while Freeman is back as Senator Allan Trumbull. The project is out to directors. Butler, Alan Siegel, Mark Gill, Matt O’Toole, and Danny Lerner are producing. Avi Lerner, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson, and Christine Crow are exec producing. Katrin Benedikt and Creighton Rothenberger, who scripted the first Fallen flick, will write the sequel. Filming begins in May in London, and the pic will be offered at AFM.
American Horror Story alumna Britne Oldford has been cast in ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars spinoff Ravenswood as a regular, playing Remy, who can fit anywhere but doesn’t belong to any one crowd. Inquisitive and determined, she won’t stop looking for the truth until she finds it. The spinoff takes place in Ravenswood, near Liars‘ hometown of Rosewood, PA, and revolves around five strangers who are connected by the curse that has plagued Ravenswood for generations. Oldford is with Gersh.
Angela Bassett and Patti LuPone have joined the cast of FX’s American Horror Story: Coven. The two join Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Francis Conroy, Lily Rabe, Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson and Gabourney Sidibe. Recently in Olympus Has Fallen, Bassett — repped by Gersh, Lighthouse and Fox Rothschild — next will be seen in Black Nativity and White Bird in a Blizzard.
Angela Bassett has been added to the cast of White Bird In A Blizzard. “Filming the new Gregg Araki movie today with Gabby Sidibe, very excited!” announced the Oscar nominated actress on her Facebook page today. Bassett will play Dr. Thaler in the indie drama about a young woman whose life spins out of control when her mother disappears. Shailene Woodley plays the young woman. Precious’ Gabourey Sidibe, Eva Green, and Shiloh Fernandez are also in White Bird. Former Law & Order: SVU star Christopher Meloni recently joined the project too. Bassett is staring and executive producing the Vanishing Point project that NBC closed a deal on in September. The actress will also be seen in the upcoming White House thriller Olympus Has Fallen with Gerald Butler. The movie is scheduled to be released on April 5, 2013. Bassett is repped by the Gersh Agency and Lighthouse Entertainment.
NBC has closed a deal for Vanishing Point, a drama from Source Code writer Ben Ripley, which has Angela Bassett attached to star and co-executive produce. The project, which has received a script commitment with penalty, is described as a character-driven legal franchise revolving around two women. One, played by Bassett, is a brilliant yet unsympathetic rainmaker at a powerful New York law firm whose world is suddenly and permanently upended by a health issue. Facing this crisis, she makes her condition public and vows to continue her practice with the help of a young brilliant attorney she chooses to be her right hand. Sony TV is producing the project, with Ripley executive producing alongside Sony TV-based producers Deborah Spera and Maria Grasso.
Bassett, who just wrapped the feature Olympus Has Fallen, starred in Fox’s Karyn Usher spy drama pilot last season. Gersh reps both Ripley and Bassett. Bassett is managed Lighthouse Entertainment, Ripley by Mosaic Media.
Angela Bassett will play Secret Service director Lynne Jacobs in Olympus Has Fallen. She joins Gerard Butler and Aaron Eckhart in the White House action drama. Olympus Has Fallen sees the president (Eckhart) and key members of his administration taken hostage, and a Secret Service agent (Butler) tries to stop the plot. Antoine Fuqua is directing. Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt wrote the script. Mark Gill, Alan Siegel and Butler are producing the Millennium Films project. Avi Lerner and Trevor Short are executive producing. The film begins shooting early next month. Bassett is repped by Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment.
Angela Bassett and Nip/Tuck alum Julian McMahon are in final negotiations to co-star in Fox’s untitled Karyn Usher drama pilot. Written by Usher and directed by Brett Ratner, the project centers on Jane Forsythe (Saxon Sharbino), the orphaned 14-year-old daughter of a CIA operative who encounters a mysterious rogue agent (McMahon) who serves as her surrogate father and professional mentor in the spy world. Bassett will play the calculating and political director of the CIA who takes Jane under her wing. Bassett, repped by Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment, just finished a critically praised run on Broadway in The Mountaintop opposite Samuel L. Jackson. For McMahon, repped by WME and ROAR, this is the first TV role since his seven-year stint on FX’s Nip/Tuck. The Karyn Usher pilot is produced by 20th Century Fox TV and 21 Laps/Adelstein.
Angela Bassett is set as a lead in ABC’s drama pilot Identity. The project, from ABC Studios, Mark Gordon Co. and writer John Glenn, is an action procedural based on a British format, which centers on an elite police unit formed to combat the explosion of identity-related crime. Bassett will play Martha, the Special Agent in charge of the FBI’s new Identity Crimes Unit. Bronx-tough Vassar graduate from Greenwich, Martha is determined to make a go of this division, using sophisticated technology combined with good old fashioned investigative methods. The casting extends Bassett’s relationship with ABC, ABC Studios and producer Mark Gordon. Earlier this pilot season, she was attached to ABC’s drama project One Police Plaza, which was developed for her through ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co. In it, she was slated to play another top New York law enforcement officer, the city’s first female commissioner. Bassett, repped by Gersh and Lighthouse, will next be seen in Jumping the Broom and Green Lantern. On TV, she most recently co-starred on the final season of ER.
Angela Bassett has come on board the drama project One Police Plaza, which is in development at ABC. The project, from ABC Studios and studio-based Mark Gordon Co., centers on New York City’s first female commissioner, to be played by Bassett. Linda Fairstein and Kenneth L. Solarz are writing the script and will executive produce One Police Plaza with Gordon and Deborah Spera. Bassett, repped by Gersh and Lighthouse, will next be seen in Jumping the Broom and Green Lantern. On TV, she most recently co-starred on the final season of ER.