Naomi Ackie to play Whitney Houston in ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ biopic

The film is set to be released in Thanksgiving 2022

Loading the player...

A biopic of “The Voice” was bought by Sony this August, and now they’ve found someone to play the iconic singer. Naomi Ackie will play Whitney Houston in I Wanna Dance with Somebody, a biopic on the late legend’s life.

According to Deadline, Ackie is about to get “so emotional” in the upcoming flick. In an official statement, director Stella Meghie stated, “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.” 

Read More: ‘Rise of Skywalker’ star John Boyega on Black Brits In Hollywood: “Maybe there is a bias”

Naomi Ackie Whitney Houston thegrio.com
(Credit: Getty Images)

Unlike the controversial 2014 Lifetime TV movie directed by Angela Bassett, Whitney, this movie has the official blessing of the Houston estate. The estate approved of the screenplay, which unlike the Lifetime movie, has access to all of her greatest hits, an essential part of Houston’s story and legacy. 

Ackie starred in one of the last blockbusters before the COVID-19 pandemic, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, last winter. Her other recent credits include Part 4 of Steve McQueen’s Small Axe on BBC One and Amazon Prime Video, and The End Of The F***Ing World on Netflix. Ackie recently won a BAFTA for TV Best Supporting Actress for the Netflix hit. She also is set to star in another musical film, The Score, alongside Will Poulter and Johnny Flynn, which recently wrapped production in the U.K.

Read More: Clive Davis says Whitney Houston biopic will be ‘no holds barred’


I Wanna Dance With Somebody is being produced by music legend Clive Davis, and the screenplay is written by Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten. Sony expects to release the film in Thanksgiving 2022 according to Variety and is sure to be a must-watch movie event.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!

Loading the player...