Whitney Houston biopic: Naomi Ackie takes the lead in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Posted by for Film

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is the new Whitney Houston biopic that fans are excited for, and Naomi Ackie has just been cast in the lead role.

We’ve seen some top actors take on some of music’s biggest legends in recent biopics, from Rami Malek as Freddy Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody to Renee Zellweger as Judy Garland in Judy

And there are plenty more on the way, including Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in Respect and Madonna’s yet-to-be-named production about her life

There’s also the highly-anticipated Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which is set to star Naomi Ackie in the lead role.  

Yep, it’s just been confirmed that emerging actor Ackie – The End Of The F**king World, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, Lady Macbeth – will play the music legend in the upcoming movie.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the film’s director Stella Meghie said: “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.”

Whitney Houston
Naomi Ackie will play Whitney Houston in I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

What is the Whitney Houston biopic about?

I Wanna Dance With Somebody will follow the turbulent life of Houston, who is one of the best-selling recording artists of all time. She was, of course, best known for hits including Saving All My Love For You and I Will Always Love You, and her acting debut in 90s film The Bodyguard. But despite her huge talent, successes (six Grammys!) and charm, Houston also battled with addiction and toxic personal relationships.

Who is behind the Whitney Houston biopic?

Anthony McCarten, who also wrote Bohemian Rhapsody, has penned the screenplay. And Pat Houston (the star’s sister-in-law and manager) will produce the movie on behalf of the Houston estate, along with music producer Clive Davis. With the backing of Houston’s estate, the movie will use the singer’s catalogue, including her vocals.

Commenting on Ackie’s portrayal of Houston in the audition process, Davis said: “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.”

Houston added: “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.”

When is I Wanna Dance With Somebody out?

The film is set to start production next year, so we’ll keep an eye out for further updates soon.

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…