Following the massive success of Bohemian Rhapsody – Oscar wins and almost a billion dollar grossed worldwide – music biopics have been on the uptick. Elton John biopic Rocketman and Judy Garland film Judy were released last year, while Baz Luhrmann has an Elvis Presley film in the works. Now, the life of Whitney Houston will join the fray.
A biopic on Houston’s life is in development from Anthony McCarten, who wrote Bohemian Rhapsody. The film is titled I Wanna Dance With Somebody and Stella Meghie, who recently helmed the romantic drama The Photograph starring Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield, is in negotiations to direct.
There’s currently no word on who will play Houston, but obviously expect the role to be heavily sought after. Especially considering that the film is practically guaranteed to be an Oscar contender. Along with Bohemian Rhapsody, McCarten has also penned Darkest Hour and The Theory Of Everything, also biopics that also won their lead actors Best Actor Oscars.
He also wrote The Two Popes, which garnered acting nominations for both Jonathan Pryce and Anthony Hopkins at the Oscars a few months ago. So yeah, he has a good track record for getting actors into the Oscar race, even if some would argue that the films themselves are pretty much the definition of Oscar bait.
We’ll see if the complicated and heartbreaking story of Houston is treated with a little more respect than Freddie Mercury‘s arguably was in Bohemian Rhapsody. There’s also an argument that an up-and-coming, exciting name in the director’s chair like Meghie could help elevate the film too.
McCarten seems to have found his niche with biopics, and he isn’t stopping. He’s also developing a script based on the Bee Gees, as well as a Broadway musical about the life and career of Neil Diamond. Be prepared for him to tackle the life of your favourite musician soon.