I Wanna Dance With Somebody Trailer: Naomi Ackie As Whitney Houston Has Us Feeling So Emotional, Baby

The second trailer for the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," dropped today, and we've already got goosebumps. Directed by the brilliant Kasi Lemmons ("Eve's Bayou," "Black Nativity," "Harriet"), this celebration of one of the greatest vocalists to ever walk the earth is the latest biopic from the producers who created the Academy Award-winning film about Freddie Mercury, "Bohemian Rhapsody." Whitney Houston's life has been at the center of public speculation for decades, and her untimely death only exacerbated tabloid obsessions. Fortunately, based on everything we know about "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," Lemmons' film starring Naomi Ackie is an empathetic look at the woman remembered as "The Voice."

The new trailer intercuts footage from the film against the sound of Whitney Houston belting out "I Will Always Love You," a surefire way to pull on the emotional heartstrings of anyone watching. There are shots of crowds cheering her name, Oprah Winfrey introducing her to an audience, and the transformative look of Ackie as the one, the only, Whitney Elizabeth Houston. But Whitney's rise to legendary status wasn't easy, and the trailer immediately pivots to an earlier point in her career, where a radio DJ dares to question the Blackness of her music.

Without missing a beat, Houston outlines all the ways Black women are specifically and intentionally discredited through misogynoir. Can you imagine how embarrassing it must be to be one of the people who criticized Whitney f****** Houston earlier in her career? I would simply evaporate into the ether, never to be heard from again.

Watch the trailer for I Wanna Dance With Somebody

The rest of the trailer is a collage of not only Whitney Houston's most iconic moments (I get chills every time I see her in that white Prada tracksuit from Super Bowl XXV) but some of the tougher moments that helped shape her legacy. We catch glimpses of paparazzi harassment, the conflict between Houston and her father John, her high-profile marriage to singer Bobby Brown, and a sweetly intimate moment with Robyn Crawford. Even just the split second of that latter moment already proves this is a biopic unafraid to explore aspects of Whitney Houston's life that were often pushed out of the narrative.

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" was written by Anthony McCarten, who is known for writing the popular biopics "The Theory of Everything," "Darkest Hour," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "The Two Popes." The film is being produced by McCarten, Whitney Houston's longtime manager and sister-in-law, Pat Houston, Clive Davis, Larry Mestel, Denis O'Sullivan, Jeff Kalligheri, Matt Jackson, Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill, Thad Luckinbill, Matt Salloway, and Christina Papagjika. In addition to Ackie, the film also stars Stanley Tucci, Ashton Sanders, Tamara Tunie, Nafessa Williams, and Clarke Peters.

"I Wanna Dance With Somebody" arrives in theaters everywhere on December 23, 2022.