Naomi Ackie is in final talks to play Whitney Houston in ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.
The ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ actress – who recently won a BAFTA for her role of Bonnie in Netflix’s ‘The End of the F****** World’ – has “impressed” everyone involved in the upcoming biopic, which will be directed by Stella Meghie from a screenplay by ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ scribe Anthony McCarten.
Meghie said: “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston.
“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.”
Producer Clive Davis added: “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.”
Meanwhile, Pat Houston – who is producing the movie on behalf of the late singer’s estate – heaped praise on the 28-year-old actress’ “quality performances” and “deep commitments” to playing Whitney in the right way.
Pat said: “All Whitney fans have an appetite for perfection when it comes to Whitney and her Legacy.
“To transform someone into a matchless Icon is virtually impossible but with careful consideration Naomi Ackie was selected based on her quality performances and her deep commitment to emerging into the woman that we all loved.
“We look forward to taking this journey with her.”
The movie – which is set to be released in November 2022 – will follow the life and career of the star.
Whitney – who tragically died in 2012 – left behind a stunning legacy with hits like ‘I Will Always Love You’ and ‘How Will I Know’, and made her acting debut in 1992’s ‘The Bodyguard’.