Actress Naomi Ackie is set to portray Whitney Houston in an upcoming musical biopic of the late singer.
Tilted "I Wanna Dance With Somebody", the film is directed by Stella Meghie and has screenplay by "Bohemian Rhapsody" writer Anthony McCarten. While the casting of Ackie, who gained popularity playing Jannah in the 2019 release "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker", has been confirmed, the rest of the cast is yet to be announced.
"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," said Meghie, reports variety.com.
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" follows the life of Houston, popular for hit songs like "I will always love you" and "How will I know". Houston, who died in 2012, also acted in the 1992 romantic thriller "The Bodyguard".
"Naomi Ackie's screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine," said Clive Davis, one of the film's producers.
"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," added Davis.
Ackie recently won a BAFTA for her role in "The End Of The F***Ing World".
"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is slated to release in 2022.