Music industry veteran Clive Davis has teamed with acclaimed screenwriter Anthony McCarten to develop the script for a biopic on the late-great Whitney Houston.
The project has been confirmed as the first authorized biopic on the legendary songstress, set to be released by Sony in 2022.
In the latest episode of Variety podcast “Strictly Business,” Davis dishes about he and McCarten’s writing process and how they decided to raise their own financing for the film, with Stella Meghie tapped to direct.
“I didn’t pay a penny to him, and he didn’t pay a penny to me,” Davis says of his working relationship with McCarten. The iconic music producer describes their movie as a “no holds barred” portrait of Houston.
“I have a mission here,” Davis says. “I have a mission to make sure that for all time that the full picture of Whitney Houston is captured in a no-holds-barred film that is musically rich and shows her genius and more of her character than we have seen to date” in other projects based on the life and career of the artist.
theGRIO previously reported, there have been several film depictions of Houston’s life over the years including the mostly panned 2018 Lifetime movie, Whitney, starring Yaya DaCosta and directed by Angela Bassett. Two docs – 2017’s Whitney: Can I Be Me and 2018’s Whitney, made with the family’s cooperation, have also been released.
But this biopic, titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody after her 1987 hit single, is the first one greenlit by Houston’s estate.
“There was a fierce competition for the movie,” Davis says. “I’m happy to say the reaction to the script was good. Almost every studio head called to tell me about their passion for the project. They know Whitney has been captured and the opportunity here is so special and unique.”
After decades of drug and alcohol abuse, Houston died in February 2012 inside her Beverly Hills hotel room from an accidental drowning. She was 48.
Listen to the latest episode of “Strictly Business” below:
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