Sony Nabs Whitney Houston Biopic 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody'

By Hayden Brooks

August 5, 2020

Another posthumous Whitney Houston film is in the works and Sony Pictures has won the rights to the project, which is titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

On Tuesday (August 4), news broke that Sony and its TriStar division won the bidding war for the film, which is set for a Thanksgiving 2022 theatrical release. While Anthony McCarten, the writer behind Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody, will pen the screenplay to the biopic, Stella Meghie, the creative behind Issa Rae's The Photograph, will serve as director for the film. I Wanna Dance With Somebody is backed by the the late pop icon's estate, as well as her friend/music honcho Clive Davis. On behalf the estate, Pat Houston will produce the film, alongside Davis, Primary Wave Music’s Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan and McCarten.

"Whitney just makes you want to get out of your seat and sing and dance!" TriStar head Nicole Brown said in Tuesday's announcement. "She is anthemic in every way. Anthony McCarten has bottled that up in his masterful screenplay bringing this beloved legend to life in a way we’ve never seen her - funny, exhilarating, aspirational, complex and incredibly human. Add to that Stella Meghie, a diehard fan, who is so gifted at telling beautiful, modern, feminine tales. With the guidance of Pat Houston, the legendary Clive Davis, Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan, and Jeff Kalligheri, we have the absolute dream team to create the ultimate celebration of Whitney’s incredible life and musical achievements."

No word on how deep of a dive the film plans to take into Houston's personal trials, but Davis did emphasize that the project will go far into her career and personal life. "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," Davis said in a statement. "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."

Photo: Getty Images

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