Model-turned-actress Yaya Dacosta is preparing to bring Whitney Houston back to life on the small screen after landing the lead role in a planned TV biopic.
Angela Bassett is stepping behind the camera to make her directorial debut with the project for America's Lifetime Network, and she has cast The Butler star as the tragic R&B icon who died aged 48, in her hotel bathtub in February 2012. Her passing was ruled an accidental drowning, combined with the effects of heart disease and drug use.
The film, tentatively-titled I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story, will focus on the singer's rise to fame, her turbulent marriage to Bobby Brown and her dependence and addiction issues. It is expected to air next year.
DaCosta rose to prominence as a competitor on reality TV show America's Next Top Model and has since established herself as an actress with roles on U.S. soap opera All My Children, medical drama House and fashion-mag based comedy Ugly Betty. Last year, she also landed a part in Lee Daniels' Oscar-winning The Butler.
Houston's manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, recently blasted plans to turn the late superstar's life story into a TV project, insisting she is "certainly worthy of more than a television movie" and suggested that the family might take legal action to block this flick.
The Houston family is reportedly in the process of developing its own Whitney film, similar to Michael Jackson's This Is It concert documentary, which was released following his death in 2009.