The film, currently titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody, will be written by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody) and directed by Stella Meghie, who also helmed the romance flick The Photograph.
Pat Houston, who is at the head of the singer’s estate, will produce the movie along with music mogul Clive Davis and Primary Wave Music Publishing, though it has yet to attain distribution. With the support of the estate, this film will be able to utilize Houston’s music catalog.
The biopic will follow Houston from “obscurity to pop stardom” and promises to be “frank about the price that super-stardom exacted,” according to a statement published by HuffPost.
Davis, who signed Houston in the early 1980s, promises to tell her full story.
“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,” he said in a statement.
Davis added that McCarten’s script will finally reveal the “whole Whitney whose vocal genius deeply affected the world while she fiercely battled the demons that were to be her undoing.”
Houston’s story – or parts of it — has already been told from numerous perspectives in three different films.
Whitney, a 2015 movie distributed by Lifetime, followed Houston’s life from 1989 to 1994, a pivotal period where she married R&B singer Bobby Brown, gave birth to daughter Bobbi Kristina, and starred in the 1992 blockbuster hit The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. She was portrayed by actress Yaya DaCosta, while Canadian R&B singer Deborah Cox performed all the vocals.
A documentary with the same name was released in 2018 and directed by Kevin Macdonald. Family members, including mother Cissy Houston, were interviewed for the film, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and went to theaters shortly thereafter. The documentary was also nominated at the 61st Grammy Awards for Best Film.
Whitney was also portrayed by Gabrielle Dennis in BET’s The Bobby Brown Story, a movie depicting the life of her ex-husband.
Pat Houston has developed numerous projects that work to advance her sister-in-law’s legacy, including hologram concerts. The shows, dubbed “An Evening With Whitney: The Whitney Houston Hologram Tour,” had a successful run in the United Kingdom. The tour was supposed to head to the Flamingo Las Vegas but was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.