The second trailer for the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic has been released, and it's making us fall in love with the icon all over again. Note: You might end up watching the trailer multiple times... We don't blame you.
Directed by the widely acclaimed Kasi Lemmons, known for Eve’s Bayou and most recently, Harriet, I Wanna Dance With Somebody centers Houston’s rise to fame, as she pushes through backlash as a black woman singer in a predominantly white genre and emerges as a legend.
“Music is not a color. It has no boundaries,” Naomi Ackie says as Houston in the trailer. “I sing what I want to sing, be how I want to be.”
The recently released trailer weaves some of Houston's most iconic moments (ie- singing the national anthem at the 1991 Super Bowl) with moments that viewers can only assume were her most difficult. Encasing it all— snippets of the beloved single “I Will Always Love You," teasing an answer to the question fans throughout the decades have asked— Who is Whitney?
Having undergone such a tragic death, mystery and intrigue often shadow the icon's legacy. But the trailer adamantly tells us this— Houston is confidence. Houston is fearlnessness. Houston is power.
Ackie says in the trailer, “My whole life- she ain't black enough. She ain't white enough. How about she ain't obedient enough? How about she ain't fearful enough?”
The trailer also highlights Houston's years-long relationship with Robyn Crawford.
The two weren’t confirmed as a couple until years after the singer’s death. In the memoir Crawford released in 2019, A Song For You, Crawford confirmed that they had a romantic and physical relationship, but wrote Houston ended the physical aspects when she was signed to a record deal with Clive Davis (the bisexual record executive is played by Stanley Tucci in the film).
“We never talked labels, like lesbian or gay,” Crawford revealed in her book. “We just lived our lives, and I hoped it could go on that way forever. From a young age, I loved beautiful people. Sometimes the beauty that captured me came in the form of a male, and sometimes it came in the form of a female; either way worked for me.”
Crawford is played by Black Lightning star Nafessa Williams.
The film was also written by biopic “royalty” Anthony McCarten, known for The Theory of Everything and Bohemian Rhapsody.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody hits theaters on December 23.