Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

Whitney Houston is getting the official biopic treatment. Her estate, producer Clive Davis, and Primary Wave Music have signed off on a feature film portraying the late singer’s life and iconic music, Deadline reported. The working title? I Wanna Dance with Somebody, named after Houston’s famous 1987 hit. The film has also been set for a Christmas 2022 release. Here’s what else we know about the project so far.

The film is set to release on December 23, 2022.

According to The Wrap, Sony has scheduled the biopic to release in theatres over Christmas 2022. Reports previously said that the film was looking at a Thanksgiving weekend release.

The first trailer looks back at Whitney’s biggest moments.

In a new trailer for I Wanna Dance with Somebody fans get a first glimpse at how Houston’s life will be adapted for the big screen. The clip includes memorable moments from Houston’s life including her first time onstage, meeting her longtime manager Clive Davis, marrying Bobby Brown, and performing her rousing rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” at the Super Bowl. What the trailer doesn’t include however is any alluding to Houston’s addiction struggles, though time will tell if the film (which was approved by her estate) will tackle those moments.

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Naomi Ackie will star as Whitney.

The British actress is best known for her role of Jannah in the film Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. She also plays Bonnie in The End of the F***ing World and Hazel in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe. Ackie was also set to appear in the nixed Game of Thrones prequel series about the Age of Heroes.

Naomi Ackie at British Acadamy Film Awards 2020 Red Carpet Arrivals
Photo: Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

Ashton Sanders will play Bobby Brown.

Deadline reported that the 25-year-old actor will portray R&B star and Houston’s ex-husband, Bobby Brown. Sanders is best known for playing the teenaged Chiron in the Oscar-winning film Moonlight. He has also starred in the Oscar-nominated film Judas and the Black Messiah and the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

Ashton Sanders attends the IMBD Studio at Acura Festival Village
Photo: Rich Polk / Getty Images

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Kasi Lemmons will replace Stella Meghie as director.

Deadline reported that Harriet director Kasi Lemmons has stepped in to direct the film, after The Photograph director Stella Meghie stepped down due to creative differences. Meghie, who joined the project in April 2020, will stay on as executive producer.

In addition to 2019’s Harriet, Lemmons is also known for directing the 1997 southern gothic film Eve’s Bayou, which was recently selected for the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. She is also developing a movie based on the novel The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste.

“Early in my writing career I developed two projects for Whitney, and I had the opportunity to meet her,” she told the outlet. “She was a tremendous, incomparable artist, and her story is as awe-inspiring as it is tragic. I feel privileged to be part of bringing her life story and music to the audience.”

Screenwriter Anthony McCarten is writing the script and producing. Well-versed in biopic films, his credits include The Two Popes, Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody, and The Theory of Everything, which all either won Oscars or earned nods.

The singer’s sister-in-law and manager, Pat Houston, will be producing the film. She was previously involved with the 2018 Whitney documentary, as she allowed Oscar-winning documentarian Kevin Macdonald access to the star’s archive.

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The story will be a celebration of Houston’s life.

As for the plot, producers told Deadline that they aim to make a “joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom. While being very frank about the price that super-stardom exacted, it will be both the rich and complex saga of the search for the perfect marriage between song and singer and audience, and at the same time the moving tale of a simple Jersey girl trying to find her way back home.”

This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.