After months of speculation about Lifetime’s upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, the first trailer is here — and shows both the singer’s professional highs and personal lows: One moment she’s singing “I Will Always Love You” in a sparkly dress onstage; the next she’s engaging in a screaming match with Bobby Brown.
Yaya DaCosta, a one-time America’s Next Top Model Contestant, plays Houston in the Angela Bassett-directed film. Bassett, who’s making her directorial debut with Whitney, wanted to focus on Houston’s relationship with Brown, one that was often perceived as tumultuous. “I really just want to tell a story about a boy and a girl who fell in love,” Bassett told EW in June.
But the trailer focuses more on Houston and Brown falling out of love than in it — they fight, they scream, they cry. When they aren’t fighting, Houston is snorting drugs — and occasionally appearing on stage to do the thing she’s famous for: sing.
Whitney airs Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. on Lifetime.