Skip to main content

A sneak peek of what to expect from Whitney Houston’s first authorized biopic about her life is here. The movie is slated for release just in time for the Christmas holiday and has some major players in the film. Houston’s estate is working on the film with a Broadway musical also in the works based on the biopic.

Whitney Houston on stage - the singer's first authorized biopic will be released this year
Whitney Houston 2009 | Lester Cohen/WireImage

Naomi Ackie is starring as Whitney Houston in the first authorized biopic

Producers of the film performed an exhaustive search to find the right person to star as the late icon. Ackie was ultimately chosen for the coveted role. Clive Davis, who spearheaded Houston’s career, is one of the producers on the film. 

On selecting Ackie, he told USA Today in an interview, “We were very impressed that Whitney’s persona was being captured,” Davis said. “The (singing) voice, of course, will be Whitney’s. When it came to Whitney, we just didn’t think anyone could capture her vocal genius, so it will be the Whitney voice in the film.” 

Source: YouTube

Which Whitney Houston Song Became Her First to Top the Billboard Hot 100?

Stella Meghie, the film’s director, was also on board with Ackie as Houston. “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston,” she told Deadline. “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 has several credits under her belt. She won a BAFTA for her role as Bonnie in the second season of Netflix’s The End Of The F—–g World. Her performance as Anna in Lady Macbeth also received critical acclaim.

First look photo for the movie is released

No trailer nor video clips of the forthcoming film has yet to be released. However, on Monday, April 25, the first poster to promote the film was debuted across several media platforms. 

In the poster, the 29-year-old star from East London strikes an eerily seminar appearance to Houston as she posed with both arms extended with her palms to the sky while looking up. Ackie wore a black leather biker jacket over a white bodysuit, skinny blue jeans, and black leather boots. Houston donned the same attire for the music video for her 1987 hit single “So Emotional.”

The movie will be released in theaters on Dec. 21. Also starring in the film is Moonlight star Ashton Sanders as Houston’s ex-husband Bobby Brown, Bria Danielle Singleton as the former couple’s late daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, Nafessa Williams as Whitney’s former assistant Robyn Crawford, and Stanley Tucci as Davis.

What the biopic will showcase 

Per an official description of the film via Deadline, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is 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.”

Despite the estate’s involvement, Houston’s cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, is not happy about the project. She feels Houston should be able to rest without so many projects in her likeness released yearly.