The highly-anticipated Whitney Houston biopic is slated for a Thanksgiving, 2022 release and has found the actress that’s been tasked with playing the role of the iconic singer.
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The British actress had her worldwide breakthrough in the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker where she played the role of Jannah. Ackie has also starred in a lead role on the British comedy The End of the F***ing World and in a minor role on Doctor Who.
Stella Meghie, who directed The Photograph, is set to direct the film while Anthony McCarten, who wrote the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, wrote the screenplay.
“We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston," Meghie said in a statement.
"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."
Whitney’s sister-in-law Pat Houston will serve as a producer on the film on behalf of the late singer’s estate.
"All Whitney fans have an appetite for perfection when it comes to Whitney and her legacy," Houston said. "To transform someone into a matchless icon is virtually impossible. But with careful consideration, Naomi Ackie was selected based on her quality performances and her deep commitment to emerging into the woman that we all loved. We look forward to taking this journey with her."
The biopic was first announced back in April as it came with the blessing of her estate and Clive Davis, the record executive who signed her and helped guide her career.
“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,” Davis, who will serve as a producer of the film, said at the time.
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