'Sparkle': Then and now – The original "Sparkle," a film about three sisters who go from singing in the church choir to crooning for a club audience in late-'50s Harlem, has become a cult classic since its 1976 release. This weekend, "Sparkle" will sweep into theaters once again with a new cast and slightly different story.
The Williams sisters then ... – "Sparkle's" story follows the highs and lows of Williams siblings Sister, Sparkle and Delores, as their singing group starts to find success. Even for moviegoers who've never seen the original, R&B classics like "Something He Can Feel," performed fantastically in the film, will likely be familiar.
... And now – The 2012 version still focuses on the three Williams sisters, but this time the setting is Detroit and the era is late-'60s Motown.
Then: Irene Cara as Sparkle – Irene Cara brought sensitivity and strength to her role as the titular Sparkle, who tries to remain the rock when her family's foundation starts to crack.
Now: Jordin Sparks as Sparkle – In 2012, "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks takes on the role of Sparkle, a part she feels isn't too great a stretch. "There's a lot of me in her, and our stories are very similar, so it was fun to be able to play that," Sparks said.
Then: Lonette McKee as Sister – In her debut film role, Lonette McKee played the arresting Sister Williams, whose hunger for bigger things threatens to undo her talent.
Now: Carmen Ejogo as Sister – In the remake, Carmen Ejogo ("Lackawanna Blues," "Away We Go") has been cast as the captivating Sister Williams. Ejogo said earlier this month that in her view, "Actresses wait their whole careers for a role like this because it's such a meaty role."
Then: Dwan Smith as Delores – As portrayed by Dwan Smith, Delores' central quality was a fire and pride that caused her to butt heads with her mother, a housekeeper for a white family.
Then: Mary Alice as Effie – Mary Alice's Effie was mom to the three singers at the heart of the film. A wise, concise woman who worked as a maid, Effie tried her best to steer her daughters on the straight and narrow.
Now: Whitney Houston as Emma – In the update, Effie is now Emma, and instead of a housekeeper, Houston's character is a former R&B singer who left that world for the more wholesome enviornment of the church.
Then: Philip Michael Thomas as Stix – Before he was Tubbs on "Miami Vice," Philip Michael Thomas portrayed Stix, an aspiring singer/songwriter with a serious crush on Sparkle and the foresight to form the girls into a singing group.
Now: Derek Luke as Stix – Stix is still Sparkle's love interest in the new version, as played by Derek Luke, who had nothing but the highest compliments for his cast members. "It's going to open doors," he said of "Sparkle's" potential impact. "I think it's going to show people in a different light."
Then: Tony King as Satin – Tony King portrayed the chillingly cruel hustler Satin, whose relationship with Sister is one of the difficult parts of the film to watch.
Now: Mike Epps as Satin – "Sparkle" devotees will be watching closely to see how lighthearted comedian Mike Epps will fill the shoes of the villanous Satin, who definitely wasn't known for a sense of humor in the original.
Then: Dorian Harewood as Levi – Dorian Harewood's Levi was an up-and-comer who aspired to have the success that Satin had acquired. Levi finds how quickly things change the more he attempts to take on greater responsibility.
Now: Omari Hardwick as Levi – "The A-Team" actor Omari Hardwick is hoping that the new "Sparkle" will inspire the same devotion in fans as the 1976 version. "I really want it to be as classic in its following, in its fanfare, as the original," he said earlier this month.