British actress Naomi Ackie will play Whitney Houston in a new film about the life and music of the late singer.
I want to dance with someone is written by Anthony McCarten, who wrote the Freddie Mercury film Bohemian Rhapsody.
Ackie, 28, from East London won a Bafta TV Award earlier this year for her appearance on Channel 4’s The End of the F *** ing World.
She has also appeared in Doctor Who, Yardie, and played Jannah in the 2019 movie Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
In a statement to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, director Stella Meghie said, “We’ve spent most of the last year looking for an actress to portray 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 and at the same time bring humanity into her inner life. “
I Wanna Dance With Somebody will follow the life and times of Houston and is close to the success of films such as Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman, based on the life and music of Sir Elton John.
Houston, who died in 2012, was best known for hits like Saving All My Love For You and I Will Always Love You. She made her acting debut with Kevin Costner in the 1992 romantic thriller The Bodyguard.
Music mogul Clive Davis, who worked closely with Houston and is one of the producers of the new film, said Ackie’s on-screen test was “so powerful it made my spine chill”.
“Though Whitney’s incomparable vocals are used in all of the songs, Naomi’s extraordinary acting spectrum enables her to masterfully capture Whitney’s unique charm, star power, and of course, personal struggles,” he said.
“Naomi is the real deal and I can’t think of a better choice for this iconic role.”
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