After a fierce bidding war between multiple studios and streaming platforms, Sony and Tristar Pictures have procured rights to I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Named after Whitney Houston’s classic 1987 hit single, the biographical motion picture will be based on her life and career.
The biopic will be helmed by Stella Meghie, who directed The Photograph starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield, while Anthony McCarten, the writer behind the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, will pen the screenplay, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film is slated for a Thanksgiving 2022 theatrical release.
Pat Houston, the executor of Houston’s estate, is a co-producer along with music producer Clive Davis.
While many details about the biopic are currently unknown, the producers described the film to Deadline as a “joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time.”
I Wanna Dance With Somebody will follow Houston’s journey from her childhood in New Jersey to her becoming one of music’s biggest superstars. The film will also delve into her tragic demise.
The highly-anticipated release is the first authorized feature film about the late legendary songstress who tragically passed away in 2012. Back in 2018, Lifetime aired Whitney, a biopic depicting the later singer’s life, but it was met with backlash from the public and lawsuits from Houston’s family.
“From all my personal and professional experience with Whitney from her late teenage years to her tragic, premature death, I know the full Whitney Houston story has not yet been told,” Clive Davis told Deadline. “I am so glad that Anthony McCarten has committed to a no holds barred, musically rich screenplay that finally reveals the whole Whitney whose vocal genius deeply affected the world while she bravely battled the demons that were to be her undoing.”