It's no easy task filling the shoes of pop-megastar and cultural icon, Whitney Houston, but if anyone is to take on the challenge, let it be British actor, Naomi Ackie. The 28-year-old east-Londoner has been cast to play the performer in the highly-anticipated Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, and there's no question that the film has found its ultimate star.
Written by Anthony McCarten, the genius who penned the award-winning Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, the film marks Ackie's most significant role to date. She was first introduced to worldwide audiences through her role in the Star Wars feature, Rise of Skywalker – earlier this year earning a BAFTA for her performance in the satirical drama series, The End of the F***king World.
“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.”
Clive Davis, a music mogul who worked quite closely with Houston over the years and has been brought on board as the music producer for the film, revealed, “Naomi Ackie’s screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine."
The film will use the singer's catalogue, including her vocals, which Davis says are complemented by "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.”
The Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set to premiere in 2022 towards the end of November. Watch the trailer below.