First authorized Whitney Houston biopic set to be released Thanksgiving 2022

A biopic of the beloved superstar is heading to theaters

Whitney Houston accepts the Winner of International – Favorite Artist Award onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

This week it’s been confirmed that the first authorized Whitney Houston biopic is set to be released by Sony in 2022.

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Whitney Houston Clive Davis biopics
(L-R) Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick and Bobbi Kristina Brown arrive at the 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons Honoring David Geffen at Beverly Hilton on February 12, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images For The Recording Academy)

There have been several film depictions of the music legend’s life over the years including the mostly panned 2018 Lifetime movie, Whitney, starring Yaya DaCosta and directed by Angela Bassett. Two docs – 2017’s Whitney: Can I Be Me and 2018’s Whitney, done with the family’s cooperation, have also been released.

But this biopic, titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody after her 1987 hit single, is the first one greenlit by her estate. 

2009 American Music Awards - Show
Whitney Houston performs onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 22, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

According to Deadline, Sony’s TriStar Pictures has won the rights to the feature film being co-produced by Pat Houston and Clive Davis, and currently have it slated for a Thanksgiving 2022 release.

Bohemian Rhapsody screenwriter Anthony McCarten will handle the screenplay.

It’s been reported that the film will be directed by Stella Meghie, who most recently directed The Photograph starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield.

“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,” Davis, who famously signed the New Jersey native to Arista Records at 19, told Deadline.

“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.”

VH1 Divas Duets Post Concert Party
Whitney Houston and husband Bobby Brown attend the VH1 Divas Duets post-concert party to benefit the VH1 Save the Music Foundation held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 22, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

The film’s producers describe the project 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.

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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.”


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