‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ official poster released

The upcoming biopic premieres in theaters this Christmas

We are officially months away from the highly anticipated Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance with Somebody, and Sony Pictures has released the first official poster for the project.

I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set to be one of the biggest films of the year. Written by Anthony McCarten, who also wrote Bohemian Rhapsody, and directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film was signed off by Houston’s estate and is even produced by her mentor, Clive Davis. Now, fans have gotten a first glimpse at actress Naomi Ackie as the “How Will I Know” singer with the release of the film’s poster.

In the visual, Ackie is dressed up in a signature Houston look reminiscent of her Whitney era, in jeans, boots, and a leather jacket. With light bulbs flashed behind her, Ackie has her arms spread out and is looking upward in the shot.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2022 - Red Carpet Arrivals
LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 13: Naomi Ackie attends the EE British Academy Film Awards 2022 at Royal Albert Hall on March 13, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Joe Maher/Getty Images)

As theGrio previously reported, I Wanna Dance with Somebody has access to all of Houston’s greatest hits due to approval by the late singer’s estate. Unlike the 2014 Lifetime film Whitney, fans should get ready to hear some of the most beloved Houston songs in the upcoming flick.

Casting Houston was, of course, a daunting task but Stella Meghie, who was recently attached as director before Lemmons, was confident they found their Whitney in Ackie.

She shared in a statement last year, “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.” 

World Music Awards 2004 - Show
Whitney Houston onstage during the 2004 World Music Awards on Sept.15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Davis also shared a statement at the time, explaining, “Naomi Ackie’s screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine. 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.”

In addition to Ackie, Ashton Sanders of Moonlight, Wu-Tang: An American Saga, has also joined the upcoming film as Bobby Brown. Sanders also recently starred in Judas and the Black Messiah, the Oscar-nominated movie that earned rave reviews last year.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody will release on December 21, 2022.

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