Naomi Ackie cast as Whitney Houston in new biopic produced by Clive Davis

A new Whitney Houston biopic will be released in 2022. After the controversy over the Lifetime Whitney, I didn’t think anyone would go near another movie about Whitney for at least a decade. But here we are. The good news is I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the newest biopic, will be produced by people who were extremely close to Whitney. Whitney’s former manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, and her former mentor and producer, Clive Davis, are producing the movie with several others. Bohemian Rhapsody’s screenwriter, Anthony McCarten, will be writing the script. I Wanna Dance With Somebody will also be produced on behalf of the Houston estate which makes me believe that it will be a more accurate depiction of who Whitney really was.

I would think it would be difficult AF to not only find an actress willing to portray Houston, but someone who could actually do it. British actress Naomi Ackie has taken on the task of embodying Whitney and I don’t envy her the job. Whitney was a force and no one has really been able to capture her essence on screen. However, according to Clive and Pat, who spent the better part of a year searching for the person to take on Whitney, Naomi gives a powerful performance. Below are a few details about the biopic from THR and Deadline via People:

“We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston,” Meghie said in a statement in a statement to the outlet. “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.”

“All Whitney fans have an appetite for perfection when it comes to Whitney and her legacy,” Houston’s sister-in-law and former manager Pat Houston, who will produce the film on behalf of the Houston Estate, added in her own statement.

“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,” she said.

Producer Clive Davis will also be producing, along with Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan, Jeff Kalligheri and McCarten.

“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.”

[From People]

I can remember where I was when the news broke that Whitney had passed away. Hers was one of about five celebrity deaths I have cried over. I was in S. Korea and I remember calling my mom and crying on the phone with her. We were both devastated. I think we both had hoped that Whitney would get her life back on track. Whitney’s music had a big presence in my life when I was kid. I remember playing her first album on my grandmother’s record player. You know the one, where she is sitting in the peach one shoulder dress? I’d sing along and dance to “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” when her second album dropped and it is still one of my favorite songs to play when I am down.

I really enjoyed Bohemian Rhapsody so I hope Anthony will be able to create the same magic for I Wanna Dance With Somebody. I am glad that they will be using Whitney’s vocals in the movie because no one can sing like Whitney. I don’t know much about Naomi Ackie and maybe that is a good thing. I have seen Star Wars: Rise of the Skywalker, but I don’t remember Naomi in it. I do hope that Naomi and those producing I Wanna Dance With Somebody will do Whitney’s life and career justice. If this project is done well, and Naomi is the performer the producers make her out to be, then perhaps those of us who loved Whitney would finally get the biopic that Whitney’s legacy deserves.




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16 Responses to “Naomi Ackie cast as Whitney Houston in new biopic produced by Clive Davis”

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  1. Seraphina says:

    Whitney and Diana’s were the two most ingrained in my head. And due to the people involved in this one, it will be a pretty decent movie. I will say, it’s becoming difficult to icons I grew up with have their story told like this and watching it. As a little girl or teen, I thought these were glamorous and fairy tale type of lifestyles. Seeing the pain they had in their lives is a bit difficult to watch.

    • Bibi says:

      Same here. Whitney was so so so beautiful and I just loved her music. Diana passed away when I had just started taking interest in her and the Royals. It is going to be hard for anybody impersonating them. I couldn’t watch the crown without thinking that the actress didnt look like Diana: that distracted me. But her voice was dead on.

  2. FF says:

    I can already hear the distant groans of “couldn’t they find a black American actress for this part?”

    And honestly, couldn’t they? Ackie doesn’t even have any more than a vague/superficial resemblance, especially with that tooth gap (which makes her look more like a young Maya Angelou, tbh).

  3. chocolate princess says:

    This is nothing more of a power money hungry grab. I think Whitney (just like Princess Diana) is an extreme force to be reckoned with. I am a Whitney Houston fan and I get real iffy when it comes to her legacy. That being said… I think Yaya Dacosta did a very good job portraying Whitney Houston. This actress Naomi Ackie… we will have to see her performance as Whitney Houston. I don’t trust Clive Davis…. as far as I know, I think the music industry killed Whitney Houston. Yes she was on drugs but no one came to help her.

  4. Noki says:

    I always wonder when people are directly or indirectly involved in their biopics if this is a good or bad thing.Just how honest will the story telling be.

  5. Glitteratti69 says:

    Not sure how I feel about this movie. It’s a very sad tale. Whitney’s is a story a bit like Amy Winehouse’s, a mega talent surrounded by sycophants and money grabbers, her family included. She couldn’t live as she wanted and died too young. I find it depressing tbh. She was already off the rails before she was 30. Poor thing.

  6. GuestwithCat says:

    I wish them well and hope they tell a good story. But I can’t watch this. It’s too soon for me. Too soon. Whitney oh man I can’t even say what her music was like as it played everywhere all around us. She was just everything everywhere. Then she wasn’t. Should not have happened. And her baby girl. Damn.

  7. TaraBest says:

    Whitney was so very beautiful and I Wanna Dance With Somebody is a song I can always turn to when I’m feeling down. The end of her life was just so tragic, I’m not sure I could watch it played out in a movie. Hopefully this will be done well and will contribute to (and not just use) her legacy.

    • Lucy2 says:

      Ditto your whole post.
      I loved her so much in the 80s, I was in awe of her beauty and talent, but the rest is so tragic.

  8. Sankay says:

    Every time I watch “Can I Be Me” I cry. Her life was tragic.

  9. Marigold says:

    I’m excited about this, because I don’t know if people today understand how talented Whitney was. What an actually huge star she was. I adored her.

    The most heartbreaking thing for me is what happened to her kids. Her life ended up being such a tragedy.

  10. Zia says:

    Clive Davis is awful and will most surely leave out important details as he sees fit since everything her career was about suited him. He’s more evil than people even realize.

  11. chimes@midnight says:

    I wonder which version of Whitney this movie will be about. There were a lot of aspects of her life that she kept extremely private. I’m not sure if she would want those stories told, or not. But she was undoubtedly a complex woman who had a lot of complicated relationships, and I’d want to see something more than a super sanitized and label-friendly version of her life.

  12. Mouki's wife says:

    That lady must be an incredible actor because she looks nothing like Whitney. But if she embodies her well, we may forget about the resemblance. Really talented actors can do that. It had better be good. I want more than fluff. Whitney deserves the best. Her voice was so amazing. I just watched The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale last weekend! ❤

  13. Monica says:

    Angela Bassett did a great job as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It. I was surprised because they don’t look at all alike. Hopefully Naomi can do the same kind of magic with Whitney.