As the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody nears production, the cast of Kasi Lemmons’ newest film is beginning to grow. Ashton Sanders, best known for his roles in Moonlight and Wu-Tang: An American Saga, has joined the film and will be playing a highly significant figure in the late icon’s life.
Deadline reported that he has signed on to play Bobby Brown, R&B singer and former husband to Houston. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker actress Naomi Ackie was brought on to play the singer last December in a casting that Collider’s Gregory Lawrence called “a wonderful choice to communicate such an interesting life story” as Houston’s.
Sanders’ casting is an exciting addition to the project. The biopic was originally slated to be directed by The Photograph director Stella Meghie before she dropped out due to creative differences. This past month, Lemmons was announced to take over the project, stating that she felt “privileged” to helm the film after previously developing two projects for Houston.
This casting comes after the film secured a new financier. Black Label Media will produce the film alongside the previously-announced Compelling Pictures and Primary Wave Music. The film was written by The Theory of Everything screenwriter Anthony McCarten and is expected to begin production soon.
Details surrounding the project remain undisclosed. However, Deadline reported today that the film “will take audiences on an emotional, energetic journey through Houston’s career and music.” With a description like this, there is the chance that it could follow the recent trend of biopics that are not quite by-the-book. With this casting, fans can expect more announcements to be made in the near future. I Wanna Dance With Somebody will release in theaters on December 23, 2022.