Actress Naomi Ackie is going to play the lead role in I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the film biography of Whitney Houston. The film is slated to release in the fall of 2022, reports The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday.
It is the biggest role for the 28-year-old actress to date. She previously played in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and the Netflix series The End of the F *** ing World.
According to director Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses), there has been a long search for a suitable actress for the lead role in the film. “Naomi surprised us at every screen test. I was moved by her talent to bring Houston to life onstage while giving her humanity.”
Houston broke through in 1985 and scored world hits with How Will I Know, I Will Always Love You and Saving All My Love For You. The American singer became one of the best-selling artists worldwide, winning six Grammys. She died in 2012 at the age of 48. She may have had a heart attack due to health problems and the use of drugs.
This year, Houston’s family gave permission for a film about her life. They will be involved in the development of the film biography through producer Pat Houston.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody, a reference to one of her hits, is directed by Meghie and written by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody). Many of Houston’s hits will be featured in the film.