Naomi Ackie has some huge shoes to fill as the British actress has been cast as Whitney Houston in the biopic ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.
Instead of finding an actress who can hit those vocal highs on a par with Whitney, TriStar Pictures and Sony Pictures has opted to use Houston’s iconic voice.
‘The Photograph’s Stella Meghie is on board to direct, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scribe Anthony McCarten penned the screenplay.
“We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston,” said Meghie. “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.”
The film has the backing from the Whitney Houston estate and music producer Clive Davis.
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Said Davis: “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.”
Pat Houston will produce the movie on behalf of the Whitney Houston estate, along with music producer Clive Davis, McCarten via his Muse of Fire Productions and Larry Mestel for Primary Wave Music, which is a partner of the Whitney Houston estate.