Clive Davis gushed about seeing screen test. “Naomi Ackie’s screen test was so powerful, it sent shivers up my spine. Although Whitney’s incomparable vocals are used for all the songs, Naomi’s extraordinary acting range enables her to masterfully capture Whitney’s unique charm, star power, and, of course, her personal struggles. Naomi is the real deal and I can’t imagine a better choice for this iconic role.”
The film will also star Ashton Sanders as Bobby Brown, Whitney's ex-husband. Bria Danielle Singleton as the ex-couple's late daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown, Nafessa Williams as Whitney's former assistant Robyn Crawford and Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis. "All Whitney fans crave perfection when it comes to Whitney and her legacy," Pat said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. "To turn someone into an incomparable icon is impossible. But after careful consideration, Naomi Ackie was selected based on quality performances and a deep commitment to becoming the woman we all love. We look forward to taking this trip with her."
Producers spoke on the plot of the biopic "joyous, emotional and heart-breaking celebration of the life and music of the greatest female R&B pop vocalist of all time, tracking her journey from obscurity to musical superstardom. While being very frank about the price that super-stardom exacted, it will be both the rich and complex saga of the search for the perfect marriage between song and singer and audience, and at the same time the moving tale of a simple Jersey girl trying to find her way back home."
Whitney Houston died at the age of 48 on February 11, 2012 after drowning in a hotel bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office confirmed the cause of death was accidental drowning and that drugs were found in his system at the time.