Published Dec 15, 2020We now know who will be playing Whitney Houston in the upcoming biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody, as Naomi Ackie has been announced to portray the iconic singer.
The news was confirmed today via director Stella Meghie, who is helming the project.
"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," Meghie said in a statement.
As previously reported, the late singer's estate has teamed with record executive Clive Davis (who discovered Houston in 1983) for the project, and I Wanna Dance with Somebody promises to follow Houston's legendary career before her passing in 2012.
"Naomi Ackie's screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine," Davis, who is also one of the film's producers, said. "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."
Ackie recently won a BAFTA for her role in the British series The End of the F***Ing World, and she also recently appear in an episode of Steve McQueen's new series Small Axe. She is also known for her role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Wanna Dance with Somebody is set to be released in 2022, most likely around American Thanksgiving.