How To Watch Whitney Houston’s Biopic, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’

In recent years, it has paid off to land the leading role in a musician biopic. Rami Malek won his first Oscar for playing the late Freddie Mercury in 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Jennifer Hudson was hand-selected by the late Aretha Franklin to portray her in last year’s Respect. Austin Butler is enjoying a career breakthrough in 2022 because of his titular star turn in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. Naomi Ackie is next up.

It’s been two years since Ackie was cast as Whitney Houston for I Wanna Dance With Somebody, the long-gestated Houston biopic. The first official trailer was released by Sony in mid-September, showing Ackie as Houston wowing Clive Davis (Stanley Tucci) and ascending as the voice of a generation. The two-minute teaser ends with Houston’s famed 1991 performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV. A second trailer arrived in early November, which spotlighted Houston standing against unjust criticism for not being “Black enough” and meeting resistance after starting her tumultuous relationship with Bobby Brown (Ashton Sanders). But when and where will we be able to watch the Kasi Lemmons-directed film in its full glory?

I Wanna Dance With Somebody will almost undoubtedly be available to stream at some point, but to start, it’s set for an exclusive theatrical release beginning on December 23. Tickets are available here.

The world premiere happened on Tuesday, December 13, in New York City.

“When I first found out I got the part, I think this was actually the scariest part for me, knowing that everyone would see it at some point,” Ackie told Vogue ahead of the premiere. “But I’ve been with it long enough now that I’m really ready to share it with the world. I’m so proud of what we achieved with it, and there’s a lot of love in there. It’s a lot of pressure, and you can’t help but feel slightly stressed by the magnitude of it, but this is the last piece of the puzzle, in a way.”

Houston tragically passed away on February 11, 2012, at 48. Her official cause of death was an accidental drowning in a Los Angeles hotel bathtub. The beloved icon was in LA ahead of that year’s Grammys and had been expected to attend Davis’ annual pre-Grammys party that night.