Audiences got their first look at Naomi Ackie as the late iconic American singer Whitney Houston in the new trailer for “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.”
The biopic is directed by Kasi Lemmons and written by Anthony McCarten, the creator of the critically acclaimed film “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Featured in the trailer alongside Ackie is Ashton Sanders who plays Bobby Brown, Stanley Tucci as Davis, Clarke Peters as John Houston, Whitney’s father, and Tamara Tunie as Cissy Houston.
With executive producers Clive Davis and Pat Houston, the singer’s longtime manager, the film follows a young Whitney from her obscure music career to the height of her fame. Houston is considered one of the greatest American singers to ever live with over 200 million records sold worldwide and ranking as one of the best-selling musicians of all time.
The trailer features different highlights of Houston’s career, including her 1991 performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” at Super Bowl 25. A few seconds later an interviewer can be heard asking Houston why her music is not “black enough” to which she replies, “Look, I don’t know how to sing black, and I don’t know how to sing white either. I know how to sing.”
“She’s been elevated in my life for so long that it felt like an impossible thing to achieve at times,” Ackie told People Magazine. “But so many people told me the same thing: If I wasn’t scared and nervous, they’d think something was wrong with me.”
She added, “The biggest challenge was letting my fear of the magnitude of this task take a back seat. Nothing good comes from sitting in fear for too long.”
Despite decades of fame and best-selling music, at the end of her life, Houston was in financial ruin and owed more than $20 million to her record label, Sony. She died on February 11, 2012, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.
The movie will be released by Sony Pictures just in time for the holiday season in the United States on December 21, 2022.