He added his appreciation for the making of this important biopic: “I am so glad that Anthony McCarten has committed to a no holds barred, musically rich screenplay that finally reveals the whole Whitney whose vocal genius deeply affected the world while she bravely battled the demons that were to be her undoing.”
Sony and its TriStar division came out on top after an intense bidding war according to Deadline. The studio picked up rights to upcoming musical biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody based on arguably the most well-known American singer Whitney Houston.
The movie is expected to hit theaters around Thanksgiving in 2022. Sony plans to keep the project in theaters instead of through a streaming service. President of Sony Motion Picture Group Josh Greenstein stated that “musically-driven films have always held a special place in theaters and this remarkable story will help further our fierce commitment to the theatrical experience.”
The scribe for the movie’s screenplay is no one other than Anthony McCarten, writer behind the Queen hit biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Stella Meghie, the brain behind the Issa Rae romance film The Photograph, will direct.
Houston’s estate will pack the project, with music producer Clive Davis on board. Pat Houston will produce the movie on behalf of the Houston Estate, along with Clive Davis, Primary Wave Music’s Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan and McCarten.
It’s about time a major studio makes a biopic for Houston. She is one of the best known recording artists of all time, selling more than 200 million records worldwide, with hit songs that include not just I Wanna Dance With Somebody but also Saving All My Love for You, How Will I Know and the most recognizable one I Will Always Love You. The song, which sold more than 45 million copies worldwide, was also recorded as original music for 1992 blockbuster hit The Bodyguard, in which she starred alongside Kevin Costner. She died tragically in 2012 at 48.
TriStar head Nicole Brown announced excitedly about the news of the acquisition: “Whitney just makes you want to get out of your seat and sing and dance! She is anthemic in every way. Anthony McCarten has bottled that up in his masterful screenplay bringing this beloved legend to life in a way we’ve never seen her – funny, exhilarating, aspirational, complex and incredibly human. Add to that Stella Meghie, a diehard fan, who is so gifted at telling beautiful, modern, feminine tales. With the guidance of Pat Houston, the legendary Clive Davis, Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan, and Jeff Kalligheri, we have the absolute dream team to create the ultimate celebration of Whitney’s incredible life and musical achievements.”
Plot details regarding how specific the biopic will go haven’t been revealed yet, though Davis did respond: “From all my personal and professional experience with Whitney from her late teenage years to her tragic, premature death, I know the full Whitney Houston story has not yet been told.”