Naomi Ackie Plays Whitney Houston – The Hollywood Reporter

Naomi Ackie makes viewers want to dance with her portrayal of Whitney Houston in the trailer for the upcoming biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

TriStar Pictures has dropped the first extended look at the film, set to release in theaters on Dec. 21, delivering all the vibrant energy onstage and off that Houston was known for. Directed by Kasi Lemmons and written by Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten, the biopic is being produced by music icon and executive Clive Davis.

The film serves as a “no-holds-barred” portrait of the award-winning and beloved vocalist, tracing Houston’s emotional, inspiring and personal journey from the church choir to her stunning break into the music industry and her knock-out (and record-setting) performances and songs, including her memorable 1991 Super Bowl rendition of the national anthem.

In the trailer, which is soundtracked to the Houston hit of the same name, fans can see Ackie embody the signature energy and light of Houston as she sings “how I want to sing” and acts “how I want to be.” As Ackie is seen climbing her way through the ranks of the industry, she is met with hurdles — from the pressure of her mother to her vocal style and music, which is at one point declared “not Black enough.”

“Look, I don’t know how to sing Black and I don’t know how to sing white either,” Ackie’s Houston says. “I know how to sing.”

I Wanna Dance With Somebody also stars Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams and Clarke Peters. It’s produced by Davis, Anthony McCarten, Pat Houston, Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan, Jeff Kalligheri, Matt Jackson, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Matt Salloway and Christina Papagjika.

The film will release in theaters on Dec. 21.

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