The cast of future Oscar-nominated Whitney Houston biopic I Wanna Dance With Somebody (its nod from the Academy seems inevitable because it’s a biopic about a music star and because it comes from Bohemian Rhapsody writer Anthony McCarten) is continuing to come together, with Naomi Ackie from Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker starring as Houston and Moonlight’s Ashton Sander playing Bobby Brown. Now, Deadline says that Stanley Tucci has joined the project as Clive Davis, the Grammy-winning producer who signed Houston to his Arista Records label in the ‘80s. Houston stayed with Arista for her whole career, signing a contract renewal at one point that was worth $100 million. Clive Davis wasn’t with Arista anymore at that point, but there will still probably be some good scenes in this movie where Stanley Tucci makes deals with Ackie or where he smiles and nods while listening to her record one of her hit songs like in Walk The Line… or, you know, every other music biopic. (only this time the song will be “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”). Clive Davis, as a bald man with glasses, also meets the two requisite character traits that someone needs in order to be played by Stanley Tucci, so it’s hard to find any fault with this casting. It’s not like we’re talking about a… long-haired man without glasses or something.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody is being directed by Kasi Lemmons, who previously made the superhero-flavored Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet a couple of years ago with Cynthia Erivo. I Wanna Dance With Somebody may have the makings of a movie that is a lot like every other movie in a genre that has become reliable Oscar bait, but the same can’t really be said for Harriet. That seems like a good sign that this one might be different from all of those other ones.