Whitney Houston Biopic Officially in the Works

A biopic of the late Whitney Houston is headed to the big screen. The Photograph director Stella Meghie is in talks to helm the feature, with Bohemian Rhapsody scribe Anthony McCarten penning the script. The Whitney Houston Estate, Primary Wave and Grammy-winning music producer Clive Davis will also be involved in the production.

The film is currently titled I Wanna Dance with Somebody and is described as a joyous, emotional and heart-breaking look at Houston's journey from obscurity to musical superstardom. Although it won't all be sugar-coated, as the film promises to take a very frank look into the price that Houston paid for such worldwide acclaim. Producers have promised a rich and complex story that will serve as a marriage between song and singer and audience. There's currently no studio attached to the Houston biopic, which will be independently financed for the time being.

The project first started to come together when Davis approached McCarten about writing a script in April of 2019. "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. "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 fiercely battled the demons that were to be her undoing."

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Houston's sister-in-law Pat Houston spoke on behalf of the Whitney Houston Estate, saying they were "more than elated" to be involved in a project along with "people that are as passionate about Whitney's life story as we are." She went on to add that "Whitney's legacy deserves only the best that can be given." Pat Houston had previously spoken about possible doing a Whitney Houston tour using a hologram, though that idea wasn't exactly well-received and never came to pass.

Davis had previously signed Houston to Arista Records back in 1983 after seeing her perform at a nightclub in New York City. She made her first public appearance later that year, singing "Home" from The Wiz on The Merv Griffin Show. The singer tragically died on Feb. 11, 2012, after she was found unconscious and submerged in a bathtub. Her death is still a sore spot for many, as evidenced by a joke made by Chris Rock in April of 2019 that drew a lot of criticism online.