Whitney Houston biopic 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know

'A joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom'


                            Whitney Houston biopic 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody': Release date, plot, cast and all you need to know
Naomi Ackie and Whitney Houston (Getty Images)

If you're a fan of biopics with a no-holds-barred approach to its highlighted celebrity, you'll not want to miss this. According to Deadline, a new Sony/TriStar musical biopic is in the works, which centers around the life and legacy of late R&B icon Whitney Houston. Named after her 1987 smash hit, 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' the biopic will feature a promising actress who will portray the singer and follows Houston’s life and rise to fame.

After an intense bidding war between multiple studios and streaming platforms, it was announced that Sony’s TriStar Pictures won the rights for the Whitney Houston biopic. Here's all you need to know about the film.

Release date

Although an exact date hasn't been confirmed, 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody' is currently slated for a release during the week of Thanksgiving 2022.

Plot

As mentioned above, the film will follow Houston's life and legacy with classic hits like 'I Will Always Love You' and 'I’m Every Woman'. The film will benefit from the use of Houston’s many hit songs.

The producers have described their vision of the film as a “joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom. While being very frank about the price that super-stardom exacted, it will be both the rich and complex saga of the search for the perfect marriage between song and singer and audience, and at the same time the moving tale of a simple Jersey girl trying to find her way back home.”

The film also won't ignore Houston's tragic death, which was caused by drowning and the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use, according to reports.

Singer Whitney Houston performs during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004, in Las Vegas, Nevada (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Cast


Currently, one actor has been revealed. Naomi Ackie has landed the starring role as the singer in the biopic. The 28-year-old star is best known for her role as Jannah in 2019's 'Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker', on Netflix’s 'The End of the F***Ing World' and Steve McQueen’s anthology series 'Small Axe'.

Stella Meghie, the film's director spoke on the casting, saying, "We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston." Meghie also noted that she was "moved" by Ackie's ability "to capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life."

Naomi Ackie (Jannah) attends "The Rise of Skywalker" panel at the Star Wars Celebration at McCormick Place Convention Center on April 12, 2019, in Chicago, Illinois. (Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)

Creators

The Whitney Houston film will be produced by Pat Houston (Whitney's sister-in-law) acting on behalf of the Houston Estate, Clive Davis, Larry Mestel on behalf of Primary Wave Music, Denis O’Sullivan, and Anthony McCarten through his Muse of Fire Productions banner. Primary Wave Music is a partner of the Whitney Houston estate. 

Legendary record producer Clive Davis, who was one of Whitney's mentors during her life,  also spoke on the upcoming film: "From all my personal and professional experience with Whitney from her late teenage years to her tragic, premature death, I know the full Whitney Houston story has not yet been told."

"I am so glad that Anthony McCarten has committed to a no holds barred, musically rich screenplay that finally reveals the whole Whitney whose vocal genius deeply affected the world while she bravely battled the demons that were to be her undoing."

As mentioned above, Stella Meghie will helm the role of director. Meghie is known for directing films such as 'Jean of the Joneses', 'The Weekend', and the 2020 film 'The Photograph'. Meghie says, "Her voice continues to give me courage. Thank you to [executives] Tom [Rothman], Josh [Greenstein] and Nicole [Brown] at Sony and TriStar Pictures for joining our team to lift Whitney up with love around the world."

Stella Meghie attends the world premiere of "The Photograph" World at SVA Theater on February 11, 2020, in New York City (Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

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