A 'no-holds-barred' Whitney Houston biopic is on the way from the writer of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Tom Beasley
Whitney Houston performs onstage at the 2011 Pre-GRAMMY Gala and Salute To Industry Icons on February 12, 2011. (Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage)

A “no-holds-barred” biopic of music icon Whitney Houston is in development, with Bohemian Rhapsody screenwriter Anthony McCarten on board to pen the script.

The late singer’s estate has given its support to the movie, which is provisionally called I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

The Photograph director Stella Meghie is in the frame to get behind the camera and direct.

Read more: Kevin Costner says Whitney is not really on Bodyguard poster

McCarten is a specialist in writing movies about historical figures, earning Oscar nominations for The Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour and The Two Popes, as well as for Bohemian Rhapsody.

He is currently at work on a Bee Gees movie and a stage musical focused on Neil Diamond, but Houston will be the first female icon he has taken on.

Anthony McCarten arrives for the 2020 Oscars Nominees Luncheon on January 27, 2020. (Photo by Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)

Grammy-winning producer Clive Davis reportedly reached out to McCarten last year and it was his box office record that convinced Houston’s estate to give their approval, according to Deadline.

Davis said he believes that “the full Whitney Houston story has not yet been told”, but will be allowed to come through in this movie.

He added: “I am so glad that Anthony McCarten has committed to a no-holds-barred, musically rich screenplay that finally reveals the whole Whitney whose vocal genius deeply affected the world while she fiercely battled the demons that were to be her undoing.”

Read more: Bohemian Rhapsody was the most-watched home video of 2019

Houston sold more than 200 million records over the course of a musical career spanning more than 30 years.

She died in 2012 having faced struggles with addiction throughout her career.

Her story has been told on the big screen via a pair of documentary films — 2017’s Whitney: Can I Be Me and 2018’s Whitney.