LeToya Luckett will play Dionne Warwick in “Dionne,” a new biopic about the legendary singer that was announced at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday morning.
The cast for the movie also includes Lady Gaga–expanding on her acting career after TV’s “American Horror Story”–as late English singer Cilla Black. Warwick, who attended a press conference at the Carlton Hotel, described the character as “her nemesis.” “She stole my songs,” Warwick explained. “I was not a very camper about that.”
Danny Glover will portray Warwick’s father, Mansel Warwick. Olympia Dukakis will co-star as German songstress and actress Marlene Dietrich, who mentored Warwick. The film will span the early days of Warwick’s career from 1962 to 1968, as she belted out would-be classics like “Alfie” and “I Say a Little Prayer.”
Warwick, 75, said she was pleased that Luckett (an original member of Destiny’s Child) was channeling her on the big screen. “She just kind of morphed,” Warwick said of meeting the actress. “Vocally, she was right. Her look was completely right.”
Shooting is set to begin in October, with Mario Van Peebles in talks to direct. AMBI Pictures and David F. Wooley’s WW Film Company are financing the movie. Producers are Andrea Iervolino, Monika Bacardi, Wooley and Jacker Binder.
Wooley revealed that he’s already spent 10 years getting the story to the big screen. After early scripts stalled, he realized that he needed a book to adapt the movie from, and co-authored “My Life, As I See It: An Autobiography” with Warwick. Then the movie was back on track, with Randall Jahnson (“The Doors”) writing the latest screenplay with Wooley.
In 2013, Warwick made headlines when she declared bankruptcy with $10 million in tax debt. When asked if the project would help with her finances, Warwick declined to comment.