A year ago, we alerted you to a Dionne Warwick biopic which was announced at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, with Destiny’s Child alum LeToya Luckett attached to star. Warwick made the announcement herself, adding that her production team was in talks with Mario Van Peebles to helm the film, from a screenplay penned by Randall Jahnson (“The Doors”), based on Warwick’s 2010 autobiography, “My Life as I See It.”
The film, which has been in development for about a decade now, will cover Warwick’s early career from 1962 through 1968.
AMBI Pictures and Bacardi drinks heiress Monika Bacardi are backing the film, which was being shopped to buyers at Cannes last year.
Speaking on Luckett’s casting, Warwick had this to say: “She is perfect and she has exactly the right look” to play a younger version of her. “She will bring out what is needed for this part.”
Warwick also said that Luckett will perform her songs for the film’s soundtrack; so she won’t be lip-syncing.
“There’ll be a lot of surprises,” Warwick said, hinting at the possibility of other real-life characters from her life at the time, making cameos in the film (played by actors of course), including producer Burt Bacharach and The Beatles.
Since then, we haven’t received any further information on the film.
We learned today that there’s now a second Dionne Warwick film in development, although this one is a documentary titled “Don’t Make Me Over,” which is being co-directed and co-produced by Dave Wooley and David Heilbroner.
And like last year’s announcement, this new film is going to be shopped at Cannes next month, with Mister Smith Entertainment set to unveil some early footage from the film to international buyers.
Promising to tell Warwick’s dramatic story – her meteoric rise from gospel choirs to international superstar – “Don’t Make Me Over,” which takes its name from a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and also marked the recording debut of Dionne Warwick in 1962, is currently in production, with several key figures featured on camera including Bill Clinton, Quincy Jones, Burt Bacharach, Clive Davis, Gladys Knight, Cissy Houston and Smokey Robinson.
“While the world knows her many hits, Dionne has quietly guarded her astonishing, inspiring personal journey,” said Heilbroner. “We are both honored and thrilled to bring this great artist’s life and legacy to the screen.”
Co-director Wooley added: “This has been a passion project of mine. I’m elated to see it become a reality.”
With 69 charted singles between 1962 and 1998, Warwick is the second most-charted female vocalist of all time on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Charts, behind only Aretha Franklin (who, by the way, has also been trying to get a film on her life made; it looks like Warwick will come out ahead of her this time).