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Ashton Sanders has been cast as Bobby Brown in the forthcoming Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody, Deadline reports

Kasi Lemmons will direct the biopic from a screenplay written by Anthony McCarten. It was previously reproted that British actress Naomi Ackie will play Houston. The film will be produced by McCarten’s Muse of Fire Productions, Pat Houston for the Houston Estate, Primary Wave Music, Jackson Pictures, Compelling Pictures, and Black Label Media.

“Naomi Ackie’s screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine,” Clive Davis, who’s a producer on the movie via Primary Wave Music, said back in 2020. “Although Whitney’s incomparable vocals are used for all the songs, Naomi’s extraordinary acting range enables her to masterfully capture Whitney’s unique charm, star power and, of course, her personal struggles. Naomi is the real deal and I can’t imagine a better choice for this iconic role.”

The movie is set to be released by Sony and TriStar Pictures next year on Dec. 23, 2022. Houston died in 2012.

Sanders, who is 25, has previously been in movies like 2015’s Straight Outta Compton, 2016’s Moonlight, 2018’s The Equalizer 2, 2019’s Native Son, and 2021’s Judas and the Black Messiah. The actor also plays RZA in the Hulu series Wu-Tang: An American Saga.

In other news, the remake of Houston’s 1992 film The Bodyguard, which also starred Kevin Costner, is moving forward at Warner Bros. Matthew López  has been hired to write the script. Following the news, Bobby Brown told TMZ that he wasn’t particularly happy about the remake.