Don’t you wanna dance? Say you wanna dance? Don’t you wanna dance?
Kasi Lemmons, the talented filmmaker behind the acclaimed Eve’s Bayou and most recently Harriet, is set to direct the forthcoming Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody starring Master of None star Naomi Ackie, according to Deadline. The film at TriStar Pictures originally tapped Stella Meghie to direct, but she stepped down from the post but will remain on board as executive producer.
Anthony McCarten wrote the screenplay and isn’t a stranger to writing films about music icons as he received an Oscar nod for his work with Bohemian Rhapsody. However, many weren’t too happy with McCarten’s handling of Freddie Mercury’s queerness. Vox said: “The movie reduces queer identity to a series of promiscuous sexual encounters, which it consistently frames as sordid, shameful, illicit, and corrupting.”
That said, one might also question if I Wanna Dance With Somebody will include Houston’s relationship with Robyn Crawford — or if it will just overlook it.
Bohemian Rhapsody controversy aside, the film is in good hands with Lemmons at the helm and the talented Ackie (seriously, you should watch her in the latest season of Master of None) in the starring role. We can only hope that it will paint an amazing portrait of the icon. Also, the icon’s long-time manager and sister-in-law Pat Houston will produce on behalf of the Houston Estate. She also served as producer of the incredible 2018 documentary Whitney directed by Kevin Macdonald.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is the first time we’ll see a feature adaptation of Whitney Houston’s life. In 2015, Angela Bassett directed a Lifetime TV movie starring Yaya DaCosta as the legend.