Jordin Sparks and Whitney Houston

Whitney Houston and Jordin Sparks ‘Sparkle’ on the Big Screen

Whitney Houston returns to the big screen for the first time in 15 years in Sparkle, a remake of the 1976 Motown-era film. In the first official still from the movie (via PEOPLE), the legendary singer plays mother to her co-star, Jordin Sparks.

“Part of the fun of making this movie is definitely the costumes and the hairstyles,” the 48-year-old diva tells PEOPLE. “The movie is set in 1963, and we had a great wardrobe, hair and makeup person and I loved wearing the outfits.”

Sparks makes her film debut alongside Houston. “She was so cool and very motherly toward me,” says the 22-year-old “American Idol” winner, who plays a singer who hits it big. “If I ever looked like I needed something, here she came saying ‘Are you okay?'”

Sparkle, which marks Houston’s first big-screen role since The Preacher’s Wife in 1996, opens in theaters on August 10.