I Wanna Dance with Somebody, the official biopic of Whitney Houston, has found somebody to dance with: British actress Naomi Ackie will play the late superstar in the movie.
According to Deadline, the project’s director, Stella Meghie said in a statement, “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.”
Ackie was most recently seen in Education, the fourth installment of Steve McQueen‘s Amazon Prime Video anthology series Small Axe. Last year, she appeared in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,playing Jannah, the former Stormtrooper-turned-Resistance fighter who, at the end of the film goes off with Lando Calrissian in a quest to discover more about her background.
Ackie also won a BAFTA — the British version of the Oscars — for her role as Bonnie in the second series of the Netflix series The End Of The F***Ing World.
As previously reported, the movie, which is being made with the blessing of Whitney’s estate, is being written by Oscar-nominee Anthony McCarten, who also wrote the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Whitney’s mentor, Clive Davis, is one of the producers, as is her manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston.
The movie will feature all of Whitney’s legendary hits, and is targeted to open in theaters Thanksgiving of 2022.
By Andrea Dresdale
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