November 2022 can’t come soon enough for diehard fans of Whitney Houston as the late diva’s first authorized big screen biopic, ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody,’ is slated to arrive in theaters next Thanksgiving.
And with ‘Star Wars’ starlet Naomi Ackie suiting up to portray the Pop icon (as we reported here), production seemed to be moving full steam ahead until Stella Meghie – the film’s executive producer and director – pumped the brakes.
More on her surprising exit inside:
Despite citing ‘creative differences’ as the cause for her departure, Meghie – who famously directed Issa Rae‘s 2020 hit movie ‘The Photograph’ – did not elaborate on what those differences were specifically. She will reportedly remain on board as the Houston film’s executive producer.
Reports have it she’s been replaced by award-winning ‘Harriet’ director Kasi Lemmons (pictured above). Speaking on the new gig, Lemmons shared:
“Early in my writing career I developed two projects for Whitney and I had the opportunity to meet her. 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.”
Her elation was shared by music mogul/Houston’s longtime mentor, Clive Davis.
“Properly telling the honest, ‘no-holds-barred’ story of Whitney Houston is an exceptional responsibility. Kasi Lemmons not only brings a highly-acclaimed, award-winning track record but possesses a clear understanding of Whitney as the matchless icon who triumphed musically while valiantly struggling with addiction,” he said in a statement.
Penned by Anthony McCarten, the writer behind the Academy Award-winning Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ ‘I Wanna Dance with Somebody’ is a co-production by The Whitney Houston Estate and Primary Wave.
[photo sources: Getty Images/Arista]