‘The Rise Of Skywalker’ Actress Naomi Ackie To Play Whitney Houston In ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’

When making a movie about a uniquely-talented, beloved actress like Whitney Houston, there’s really only one big challenge and that’s finding someone who can play her. Well, the hard part is now over. Star Wars actress Naomi Ackie has been set to star in Stella Meghie’s biopic I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

Deadline has the news on Ackie’s casting, landing what really could be the role of her career as Whitney Houston. That’s saying something considering she was only just in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Ackie was also recently in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe film Education, and Idris Elba’s directorial debut, Yardie.

I Wanna Dance with Somebody is directed by Stella Meghie (The Photograph) and has the full support of the Whitney Houston estate. That could mean a number of things. For one, it should have a full catalog of the singer’s memorable songs from a bestselling career. It could also mean the film won’t go as dark as it might, and there is plenty of dark in Houston’s career to pull from.

As much as I’m a big fan of Oscar-nominated writer Anthony McCarten, who wrote Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour, The Theory of Everything, and The Two Popes, his resume suggests an aim to make a crowd-pleaser first and foremost.

Travis Hopson has been reviewing movies before he even knew there was such a thing. Having grown up on a combination of bad '80s movies, pro wrestling, comic books, and hip-hop, Travis is uniquely positioned to geek out on just about everything under the sun. A vampire who walks during the day and refuses to sleep, Travis is the co-creator and lead writer for Punch Drunk Critics. He is also a contributor to Good Morning Washington, WBAL Morning News, and WETA Around Town. In the five minutes a day he's not working, Travis is also a voice actor, podcaster, and Twitch gamer. Travis is a voting member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Washington DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), and Late Night programmer for the Lakefront Film Festival.