The pieces are falling into place for the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic.
According to Deadline, The Whitney Houston Estate, Primary Wave, and Clive Davis are currently in talks with The Photograph director Stella Meghie (and recent Watch Less guest) to helm the film, which is tentatively titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Meghie is reportedly a big Whitney Houston fan and lobbied tirelessly to be the film's director. If she joins the production, she'll be be working alongside a host of elite talent that was hand-picked by Davis and the Houston Estate.
For starters, Anthony McCarten has been tapped to write the film's screenplay. He's best known for his work on Oscar-winning biopics like Darkest Hour, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Two Popes, and The Theory Of Everything.
Now, the question of who will play the songstress will be of major intrigue. Although Davis and the estate have been tight-lipped about who's in contention, the actress that lands the coveted role will be set up for major success right off the bat. Why? Because the stars who toplined McCarten's previous efforts—Rami Malek (Freddie Mercury), Gary Oldman (Winston Churchill), and Eddie Redmayne (Stephen Hawkins)—all went on to win Best Actor Oscars. And because those films were very male-centric, having a talent like Meghie in the driver's seat is an ultra savvy move.
The biopic will be produced by Whitney's former manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, McCarten through his Muse of Fire Productions production company, and Davis. Perhaps most crucially, all of Houston's songs have been cleared for use in the film.
"The Estate of Whitney Houston is more than elated to be involved with a group of people that are as passionate about Whitney’s life story as we are. Whitney’s legacy deserves only the best that can be given," a statement from Houston's estate reads. "I stand with the hearts of these partners being the chosen ones to produce a film that’s uplifting and inspiring to all that loved her, giving you a reason to continue to celebrate The Voice that we all fell in love with and will cherish forever!"