Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesThough her story’s been told several times, in books, documentaries and TV movies, an official Whitney Houston biopic is now in the works. This time, it comes with the blessing of her Estate and Clive Davis, the record executive who signed her and steered her career.
The movie, tentatively titled I Wanna Dance with Somebody, is being written and co-produced by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Anthony McCarten, who wrote the fact-based films Bohemian Rhapsody, Darkest Hour, The Two Popes and The Theory of Everything. Stella Meghie, whose most recent film is The Photograph, is in talks to direct.
The producers describe the movie as a “joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration,” while still being “very frank about the price that super-stardom exacted” from Whitney.
Clive Davis first approached McCarten with the idea of the movie last April, and says in a statement, “I know the full Whitney Houston story has not yet been told. 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.”
McCarten adds in a statement, “Recreating for the big screen those unforgettable performances, those beloved songs, and that incredible journey, will be an enormous responsibility, undertaking, privilege and delight for myself and for our entire team.”
Whitney’s former sister-in-law Pat Houston said on behalf of the Houston Estate, “Whitney’s legacy deserves only the best that can be given. I stand with the hearts of these partners being the chosen ones to produce a film that’s uplifting and inspiring to all that loved her.”
The film is being independently financed, and is not attached to a studio at this time.
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