LeToya Luckett is set to play music legend Dionne Warwick in an upcoming biopic, Dionne herself announced in Cannes on Friday.
At the time, Lady Gaga was announced to be involved with the project — however her rep has since gone on record saying, “She is not attached and will not appear in this project.”
Olympia Dukakis will play Marlene Dietrich, who was Dionne Warwick’s mentor at the start of her career. Danny Glover will play her father, Mansel Warwick.
AMBI Pictures, the L.A.-based production outfit set up by Italian producer Andrea Iervolino and Bacardi drinks heiress Monika Bacardi, will produce the film and handle international sales, shopping the project to buyers here in Cannes.
Randall Jahnson (The Doors) wrote the screenplay for the film, based on the singer’s 2010 autobiography My Life as I See It. The film will cover the period early in Warwick’s career from 1962 through 1968. Dave Wooley, who co-wrote Warwick’s autobiography and has been working on developing a film on her life for more than a decade, will produce Dionne with AMBI through his WW Film Company shingle. Jack Binder will also produce.
“She is perfect and she has exactly the right look,” Warwick said about Luckett playing a younger version of her. “She will bring out what is needed for this part.” In addition to playing Warwick, Luckett will also perform her songs for the film’s soundtrack.
Explaining why the late Cilla Black, a beloved figure in Britain, was the villain of the piece, Warwick simply said on Friday: “Because she stole my music!” Warwick has accused Black of copying her vocal mannerisms on a version of Warwick’s hit Anyone Who Had A Heart that went to number 1 in the U.K. in 1964.
Warwick heaped praise on late German singer and actress Dietrich for “doing everything” to help her at the beginning of her career, including “throwing out all my costumes because she didn’t like them.”
Warwick hinted that real-life characters from her life at the time, including producer Burt Bacharach and The Beatles, could turn up in the film. “There’ll be a lot of surprises,” the singer said.
Dionne is set to begin production late this year.
Now, THIS is going to be good!