For the “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” biopic of late music icon Whitney Houston, British actress Naomi Ackie has been chosen to play the music star’s role.
Ackie, well-known for her role as Jannah in the movie “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker,” is currently in negotiations with “Sony” for the biopic movie set to be released on Thanksgiving 2022.
The film’s screenplay was written by Anthony McCarten and directed by Stella Meghie, the director of Issa Rae’s romance “The Photograph.”
Read below for more details.
The Year-Long Search
If anyone plays Houston, it has to be a perfect choice!
In a statement, Meghie revealed that the search for an actress who could personify Whitney Houston took almost a year, and Ackie was the only one who aced the selection process. Well, that’s what you get from beauty with brains!
The director shared that Ackie accurately exhibited the global icon’s stage presence while still bringing compassion to her interior life.
Houston was a multiple award-winner, with six Grammy Awards over her expansive career. The singer sold more than 200 million copies of her records worldwide, making her one of the best-known artists of all time.
The Incomparable Whitney Houston
In 1992, Houston made her debut as an actress in the blockbuster movie “The Bodyguard,” and recorded six songs for the movie’s soundtrack. Unfortunately, the actress died in 2022, at age 48.
Film Producer, and sister-in-law to Houston, Pat Houston will produce the movie alongside music producer Clive Davis, through his company known as “Muse of Fire Productions.”
Other producers include Larry Mestel from “Primary Wave Music,” Denis O’Sullivan, and Jeff Kalligheri, who will produce and finance the movie “Compelling Pictures.”
The entire project will be under the supervision of Nicole Brown, Shary Shirazi, and Brittany Morrissey from “TriStar Pictures.”
Naomi Ackie As Whitney Houston In New Biopic
The biopic is said to make use of Houston’s catalog, including her vocals.
In a statement about the upcoming movie, music producer Davis, shared that Ackie’s screen test sent shivers down his spine, as her extraordinary acting skills empowered her to successfully capture Houston’s unique charm, star power, and, of course, her struggles.
He also disclosed that Houston’s original vocals would be used for all the songs.
Pat Houston added that although it is near impossible to totally transform Ackie into Houston’s legacy, her commitment to the role and quality performance will make the journey worthwhile. Go Ackie!
Naomi Ackie: The Journey So Far
Emerging into the late matchless music icon’s role is by far the most prominent character ever played by Ackie.
The actress began her foray in the “Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker” feature in Hollywood. Currently, she appears in Steve McQueen’s Amazon anthology film series titled “Small Axe.”
Ackie’s previous movies include a Netflix movie series titled “The End of the Fucking World,” which earned her a BAFTA Award. She has also starred in the indie stand-out “Lady Macbeth.” The actress is represented by “CAA, the U.K.’s Hamilton Hodell, Range Media and Peikoff Mahan.”