The Houston to Sanders’ Brown will be played by Naomi Ackie (Master Of None, Small Axe, The End Of The F***ing World). The two will star in the Kasi Lemmons-directed film which is based on the screenplay written by Academy Award nominee Anthony McCarten (The Theory Of Everything, Bohemian Rhapsody). I Wanna Dance With Somebody will follow Houston’s music career and tumultuous personal life. The estate-authorized biopic will include Houston’s legendary music catalog.
Houston is the most awarded female music artist of all time and is one of the bestselling recording artists of all time, selling more than 200 million records worldwide. Houston won six Grammys, 16 Billboard Music Awards, 22 American Music Awards and two Emmys over her career. After spending years in boy band New Edition, Brown released his debut solo album, King Of Stage, in 1986. His next album, Don’t Be Cruel, spurred five Billboard top ten hits, including “My Prerogative.”
Houston’s marriage with Brown was highly publicized as the two continued to carve out music careers. After meeting in 1989, the two married in 1992, and Houston gave birth to their only daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown the next year. The couple’s marriage was heavily discussed in tabloids and gossip columns due to ongoing infidelity, drug abuse, and domestic troubles. The pioneer new jack swing artist’s jealousy of Houston’s sky rocketing R&B career was well known throughout their marriage. In 2003, Brown was charged with battery for allegedly hitting Houston, but was not convicted. Insight to their home life spurred further controversy on the reality show Being Bobby Brown, which ran for one season in 2005. Houston filed for divorce from Brown in 2006.
Sanders’ breakthrough role was in Moonlight; he played Chiron. He currently plays another famous Bobby in the music industry—Bobby Diggs a.k.a. RZA in the Hulu original Wu-Tang: An American Saga. His previous film features include Native Son, All Day And A Night, and Captive State.