The Hollywood Reporter is exclusively reporting that Naomi Ackie has been cast in the role of iconic performer Whitney Houston in Sony TriStar’s upcoming biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
Earlier in the summer the studio acquired the rights to the project, which will focus on the life and music of Whitney Houston. The project is formed by The Whitney Houston Estate, Primary Wave and Grammy-winning music producer and Whitney Houston’s mentor Clive Davis.
The films director, Stella Meghie, released a statement saying:
We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston. Naomi Ackie impressed us at every stage of the process. I was moved by her ability to capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life.
Clive Davis also released a statement, adding:
Naomi Ackie’s screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine. Although Whitney’s incomparable vocals are used for all the songs, Naomi’s extraordinary acting range enables her to masterfully capture Whitney’s unique charm, star power, and, of course, her personal struggles. Naomi is the real deal and I can’t imagine a better choice for this iconic role.
The Whitney Houston estate also released a statement, adding:
All Whitney fans have an appetite for perfection when it comes to Whitney and her legacy. To transform someone into a matchless icon is virtually impossible but with careful consideration, Naomi Ackie was selected based on her quality performances and her deep commitment to emerging into the woman that we all loved. We look forward to taking this journey with her.
Anthony McCarten will be producing alongside Pat Houston on behalf of the Houston Estate, Clive Davis, Larry Mestel on behalf of Primary Wave Music, Denis O’Sullivan and Jeff Kalligheri.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is already being scheduled by TriStar Pictures for a cinematic release on 24th November 2022.