Two former soap stars are headed to the big screen in a new film. Nafessa Williams (ex-Deanna, One Life to Live) and Tamara Tunie (ex-Jessica, As the World Turns) have signed on to star in the Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody, according to Deadline.
Williams will play Robyn Crawford, the longtime assistant to Houston. Crawford became the creative director for the singer while staying one of her closest friends. Williams steps in for Moses Ingram, who recently exited the role. Tunie will play Cissy Houston.
Also slated to star are Clarke Peters as John Houston and Naomi Ackie as Houston herself. Anthony McCarten will write the screenplay for the musical biopic, which Kasi Lemmons will direct.
Producers on the film are: Matt Jackson of Jackson Pictures; McCarten’s Muse of Fire Productions; Pat Houston on behalf of the Houston Estate; star music producer Clive Davis; Larry Mestel on behalf of Primary Wave Music; Denis O’Sullivan and Jeff Kalligheri for Compelling Pictures; and Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, and Thad Luckinbill (ex-J.T., The Young and the Restless) for Black Label Media. Primary Wave Music is a partner for Houston's estate.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is set to be released in theaters by Sony and TriStar Pictures on December 23, 2022.