Credit: Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy Photo: Rihanna at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012

Even prior to Whitney Houston's tragic death on February 11, 2012 at the age of 48, plans were already in motion to immortalize the singer's extraordinary life in a biopic — and now, rumors have begun flying about the casting process for the lead role in the film. The alleged top choice among producers? Rihanna.

Whitney's friend and mentor, Clive Davis, is reportedly beginning the process of developing the film as a tribute to the late superstar. The shortlist of names include Rihanna, as well as other famous singers with acting chops, like American Idol vet Jennifer Hudson (who performed a stunning rendition of "I Will Always Love You" at the Grammys the day after Whitney's death), Vivica A. Fox, Brandy, and fellow Idol alum Jordin Sparks. Perhaps most intriguingly, though, Willow Smith may be considered to play Whitney as a child. 

"Clive wants to get the script done and start filming as soon as possible," a source told The People. "Whitney knew about the project and was excited to see where it would lead."

Controversy-courting chanteuse Rihanna seems a natural choice to play the lead role, especially given the recent drama surrounding her collaborations with abusive ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, since Whitney, too, was known for her tumultuous relationships. But R&B songbird Brandy, who has considerable acting experience, says that she's the perfect choice to play Whitney; in an interview, she said, "I would love to play Ms Whitney. I have her ­personality down pat, her 'isms' down pat. Nobody can play Whitney like me."

Let the diva-off commence!

Source: The People

Credit: E! Photo: Watch Clive Davis Honor Whitney Houston at Pre-Grammys Industry Event (VIDEO)

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