Award-winning actress Naomi Ackie stars as the late legendary singer for musical biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody. The film is written by Anthony McCarten and directed by director Kash Lemmons (Harriet, Eve’s Bayou). The upcoming film documents Houston’s iconic life and legacy, beginning with her record deal with Clive Davis (Stanley Tucci).
Ackie shared that she believed depicting Houston onscreen would be an “impossible thing to achieve” as an actress.
“But many people told me the same thing: If I wasn’t scared and nervous, they’d think something was wrong with me,” Ackie said in an interview with People. “The biggest challenge was letting my fear of the magnitude of this task take a back seat. Nothing good comes from sitting in fear for too long.”
The film boasts that I Wanna Dance With Somebody will introduce fans to a Whitney we have never seen before.
“Fans can expect to see her life like we see are our own,” Ackie supports that sentiment. “Ups and downs, triumphs and disappointments, all of it mixing together to make up a life.”
In the trailer, Houston is criticized for not being “Black enough” and her response is that she doesn’t know how to sing Black or White; she just knows how to sing. The biopic highlights her early days as a New Jersey choir girl, who went on to become the best-selling and most awarded recording artist of all time.
Ackie is joined by Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams and Clarke Peters.
The official film description:
I Wanna Dance with Somebody is a powerful and triumphant celebration of the incomparable Whitney Houston. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, written by Academy Award® nominee Anthony McCarten, produced by legendary music executive Clive Davis and starring BAFTA Award® winner Naomi Ackie, the film is a no-holds-barred portrait of the complex and multifaceted woman behind The Voice. From New Jersey choir girl to one of the best-selling and most awarded recording artists of all time, audiences are taken on an inspirational, poignant—and so emotional—journey through Houston’s trailblazing life and career, with show-stopping performances and a soundtrack of the icon’s most beloved hits as you’ve never heard them before. Don’t you wanna dance?
Whitney’s sister Pat Houston produces the feature, along with Davis and screenwriter McCarten. Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan, Jeff Kalligheri, Matt Jackson, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Matt Salloway, and Christina Papagjika also produce.
Check out the first trailer below:
I Wanna Dance With Somebody hits theaters December 21st.