According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ackie is currently in negotiations for the role with Sony and its TriStar division. Her latest appearance on the silver screen was in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, where she played a character named Jannah.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody will be written by Anthony McCarten (Bohemian Rhapsody) and directed by Stella Meghie (The Photograph).
“We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston,” Meghie told The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
I Wanna Dance With Somebody has the backing of Houston’s estate as well as music producer Clive Davis. Pat Houston will produce the movie on behalf of the Houston Estate, along with Davis, Primary Wave Music’s Larry Mestel, Denis O’Sullivan and McCarten.
“Whitney just makes you want to get out of your seat and sing and dance!” Nicole Brown, head of TriStar, said in an official announcement made on August 4.
Last month, Whitney Houston was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, with Alicia Keys giving an induction speech for the star.
During the ceremony, which was broadcast on HBO, Keys paid tribute to the late star, who died in 2012.
“Whitney Houston is one of one,” she said. “There is no one like her and there never will be.”