Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker actress Naomi Ackie has been confirmed to play the role of Whitney Houston in Sony/Tristar’s biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody. The film will be directed by The Photograph’s Stella Meghie and written by Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten. According to Deadline, it was a mission to find the perfect woman to portray Whitney Houston, as she is such a unique person to epitomize: “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston”. Meghie believes that Ackie is the perfect actress to play Houston, because she has the ability to “…capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life”.
Not only was it difficult to find the leading lady, there was also a bit of a intense bidding war between multiple studios and streaming platforms. It was officially announced this summer that Sony’s TriStar Pictures won the rights for the biopic. Since I Wanna Dance With Somebody is being made with the blessing of the Houston estate, this means that the film will be able to reproduce all of her hit songs. It is also stated that record producer Clive Davis, who was one of Whitney’s mentors during her life, as well as Pat Houston, Whitney’s sister-in-law, are signed up as producers on the film. Because of all of this, the authenticity of the film appears bright.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is currently slated for a Thanksgiving 2022 release date.