The official Whitney Houston biopic is headed to theaters this December. Executive produced by Clive Davis and Pat Houston, I Wanna Dance With Somebody stars Naomi Ackie as the late superstar alongside Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Stanley Tucci as Davis, Clarke Peters as John Houston, Whitney’s father, and Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston.
The film is described as a “no-holds-barred portrait of the complex and multifaceted woman behind The Voice.” Under the helm of Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou and Harriet) and written by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody), I Wanna Dance With Somebody will explore “the Whitney you never knew.”
Lemmons took over the directing of the project after Stella Meghie stepped down, due to creative differences. When the news broke, Lemmons revealed, “Early in my writing career, I developed two projects for Whitney, and I had the opportunity to meet her. She was a tremendous, incomparable artist, and her story is as awe-inspiring as it is tragic. I feel privileged to be part of bringing her life story and music to the audience.”
Pat Houston felt Whitney’s legacy was “safe” with Lemmons helming the film.
In the film’s trailer, Ackie expressed as Houston, “My dream? Sing what I want to sing, be how I want to be. Reach as big an audience as I can.” It goes on to spotlight some of Houston’s career highlights and standout moments including her 1991 performance of the national anthem at the Super Bowl and an interview where she was told her music wasn’t “Black enough.” She boldly responded, “Look, I don’t know how to sing Black, and I don’t know how to sing white either. I know how to sing.”
I Wanna Dance With Somebody hits theaters on Dec. 21. Watch the full trailer above.