Naomi Ackie is Whitney Houston in the First Trailer for I Wanna Dance With Somebody

ytsfreeSeptember 16, 2022

Naomi Ackie shines as Whitney Houston in the first trailer for I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the biographical drama following the iconic singer’s life. The movie is described as “The joyous, emotional, heartbreaking celebration of the life and music of Whitney Houston, the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time. Tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom.”


I Wanna Dance With Somebody stars Stanley Tucci as legendary record producer Clive Davis, while Ackie is in the lead role as Whitney Houston. Tamara Tunie, Clarke Peters, Ashton Sanders, and Nafessa Williams round out the cast. The first trailer for the upcoming biopic can be found below.

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Related: I Wanna Dance With Somebody: Everything We Know

I Wanna Dance With Somebody will cover the singer’s entire life, from her start and getting noticed by Clive Davis to being told her music “isn’t black enough” and then sold-out concerts in huge arenas. It’s unknown just how far the film will go, as Houston, unfortunately, struggled with drug addiction toward the end of her career, sadly passing away in 2012.

Anthony McCarten is set to pen the script, whose previous work includes Bohemian Rhapsody, the biopic covering the life of Freddie Mercury. Whitney Houston was a global icon during her illustrious career, which includes hit albums and songs such as “Greatest Love of All,” “I Have Nothing,” and “I’m Your Baby Tonight.” I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set to release later this year, on Dec. 21.

Related: Bong Joon-ho Recruits Mark Ruffalo, Toni Collette, & Naomi Ackie for Mickey7 Adaptation


Naomi Ackie Says Her Anxiety Helped Her Play Whitney Houston

Playing an international icon is an overwhelming task, and Naomi Ackie admits it brought on a fair share of anxiety when she was cast in the role. However, during an interview with The Whitney Houston Platinum Club, the actress said her anxiety was the catalyst to give an outstanding performance in I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

“I’ve been thinking about this recently, about work in general and what it brings up for you as an artist and then you just as an individual. This was maybe the first time that I felt my anxiety around playing Whitney Houston was a little bit of a catalyst in a way that I hadn’t previously experienced before. So you know there’s the normal stuff, learn the accent, how does her lips move around a song, what does she physically look like, how does she present herself? But there was this — the biggest thing I can remember from this last year is managing my anxiety around what I want to create and what I think other people want to see. That was a real tussle for me.”

Sony and Ackie have a monumental task on their hands as they bring Whitney Houston’s story to the center stage this December. A musician as beloved as Houston will need to be handled with care, especially if the studio wants a successful biopic with audiences and critics. So look to theaters on Dec. 21 to see Ackie as Whitney Houston in I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

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