Actress Naomi Ackie just landed a major role! She’s playing Whitney Houston in the new musical biopic “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” reports Variety.
The movie is slated for Thanksgiving 2022 with Stella Meghie set to direct and Anthony McCarten, who wrote “Bohemian Rhapsody,” penning the screenplay.
Meghie, who also directed “The Photograph,” said in a statement, “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embodyWhitney 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, who famously signed Houston to Arista Records, will serve as a producer. He told Variety in a statement, “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.”
Whitney’s sister-in-law Pat Houston will represent the late singer’s estate as a producer. She said in a statement, “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.”
Naomi won the 2020 Supporting Actress BAFTA for her role as Bonnie in “The End of the F***ing World.” She’s also known for playing Jannah in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” and Hazel in “Small Axe.”
Houston, a seven-time Grammy winner, passed away in 2012.