Star Wars actress Naomi Ackie has been selected to play the lead role in Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

The British actress is best known for her pivotal role in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker.

Stella Meghie will direct the film for Sony Pictures and its TriStar division.

The Houston estate, music producer Clive Davis, Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan, and Jeff Kalligheri are the film’s co-producers. Pat Houston, who is Whitney’s sister-in-law, will represent The Houston estate.

Speaking about the search for the main cast, Meghie said, “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston.”

“Naomi Ackie impressed us at every stage of the process. I was moved by her ability to capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life,” she added.

The movie is set to release on Thanksgiving Day, 2022.

(Photo: Kiril photography)

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