Deadline reports that Davis, who discovered Houston at age 19, will team with director Stella Meghie (of The Photograph fame) to produce I Wanna Dance With Somebody, a film dealing the life and career of Houston. Pat Houston will also produce on behalf of the Whitney Houston estate, meaning that the family of the late singer/actress will also participate in the production. The film will also have access to Houston’s full musical catalog.
Writer Anthony McCarten will pen the script. McCarten has become something of Hollywood’s go-to man for biopics, having scripted The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour, The Two Popes, and Bohemian Rhapsody. McCarten’s work on the project already heralds awards buzz for the film; three of the four aforementioned films won Oscars for Best Actor, while the other received a nomination.
“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 in the announcement. “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.”
The creative team has yet to announce who will play Whitney herself.
Whitney Houston remains the most awarded female artist in history, having snagged six Grammy Awards, 16 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards and two Emmy Awards among various other honors. Despite her success, Houston struggled with personal and substance abuse problems later in her career before her sudden death at age 48 in 2012. Subsequently, friends and family have revealed that the gay icon struggled with her own sexuality throughout her life, having had relationships with both men and women, a fact attested by her ex-husband Bobby Brown and her longtime girlfriend Robin Crawford.