Whitney Houston biopic casts Naomi Ackie as late singer
CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 12/17/2020, 11:12 a.m.
By Lisa Respers France, CNN
(CNN) -- "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" has reportedly found its star.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, British actress Naomi Ackie has been chosen to play the late singer Whitney Houston in the planned biopic.
"We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston," the film's director Stella Meghie told the publication. "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."
Ackie is best known for her role in "Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker."
The project has the cooperation of the estate of Houston, who died in 2012 at the age of 48, and her sister-in-law Pat Houston will serve as a producer.
Music impresario Clive Davis, who helped to guide the singer's career, is also producing.
"Naomi Ackie's screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine," Davis said. "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."
Houston died on the eve of the 54th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which was held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. She was found dead in her room at the Beverly Hilton hours before she was set to attend Davis' annual Grammy party.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is set to be released on Thanksgiving 2022.