News broke last year that Ackie would star as the late legendary singer and now, in an update on the cast, Deadline reports Sanders is all set to play Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown.
“Ashton Sanders has joined the cast of the biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the upcoming feature about the late musical icon Whitney Houston. Sanders will play Bobby Brown, and sources also tell Deadline that Black Label Media is coming on board to co-finance the film with Compelling Pictures and Primary Wave Music,” Deadline writes, noting “Naomi Ackie is set to play Houston in the Kasi Lemmons-directed film. The screenplay is written by Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten, and will take audiences on an emotional, energetic journey through Houston’s career and music”
As we previously reported, producers Clive Davis and Pat Houston (Whitney’s sister-in-law) were thoroughly impressed by Naomi Ackie’s audition. “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,” Davis said.
For his part, we know Ashton Sanders has every intention of doing Bobby Brown justice as well. There seems to be no limit to his range, as the rising star beamed in Moonlight, in addition to playing in films like Judas and the Black Messiah, The Equalizer, and Straight Outta Compton. He also reprised his role as RZA in the second season of Wu-Tang: An American Saga. I Wanna Dance With Somebody is due in theaters December 23, 2022. Stay tuned for more updates on the latest Whitney Houston biopic and let us know if you plan on tuning in.