Whitney Houston Biopic Casts 'Moonlight' Star To Play Bobby Brown

By Ryan Shepard

September 21, 2021

Ashton Sanders
Photo: Getty Images

Deadline has reported that Ashton Sanders will portray Bobby Brown in the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Sanders is best known for his role as Chiron in the Academy Award-winning film, Moonlight. He also appeared in HBO's adaptation of Native Son, Judas and the Black Messiah and The Equalizer 2 with Denzel Washington. Currently, he stars in Hulu's Wu-Tang: An American Saga as The RZA.

Sanders will share a good amount of screen time with Naomi Ackie, who has been cast as Houston. Prior to earning the role of Whitney Houston, the British actress appeared in Netflix's Master of None and Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Just last year, she won the "Outstanding Supporting Actress" category at the BAFTA TV awards for her role in The End Of The F----- World.

Leading the way, Kasi Lemmons will serve as the film's director. She has previously directed films and limited series about Madam C.J. Walker, Harriet Tubman and Petey Greene. Not to mention, she's also appeared in films like Candyman, School Daze and The Five Heartbeats.

Joining Lemmons, Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten has written the screenplay. Prior to joining Lemmons, McCarten wrote Darkest Hour, The Two Popes and Bohemian Rhapsody. Deadline describes his most screenplay, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, as something that "will take audiences on an emotional, energetic journey through Houston’s career and music."

Rounding out the all-star team, Stella Meghie is set to work as an executive producer for the movie. She is best known for directing episodes of Insecure and Grown-ish while also putting together feature films like The Photograph.

At this time, I Wanna Dance With Somebody is tentatively scheduled to come out in 2022.

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