"Whitney Houston, the greatest voice, has an even greater story."
So teases Sony Pictures in unveiling the first look at Naomi Ackie as Whitney Houston in the upcoming musical biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Though the actress will not be re-recording Whitney's songs for the movie, she certainly looks the part on the poster, which sees her channeling an iconic look from the "So Emotional" video.
In addition to Ackie (a breakout stars of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Stanley Tucci will portray record producer Clive Davis, with Moonlight actor Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown and Nafessa Williams as Whitney's longtime best friend, Robyn Crawford. Clarke Peters and Tamara Tunie plays Whitney's father and mother, John and Cissy Houston.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is directed by Eve's Bayou and Harriet filmmaker Kasi Lemmons from a screenplay by four-time Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten, who also wrote the Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. Both Davis and Pat Houston, the late singer's sister-in-law and estate executor, serve as producers on the film.
"All Whitney fans have an appetite for perfection when it comes to Whitney and her Legacy," Pat Houston said when Ackie's casting was announced. "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."
See the first look poster below.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody opens in theaters on Dec. 21.