"I might've just heard the greatest voice of her generation," says Stanley Tucci as Clive Davis in the first trailer for I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which kicks off with the record producer's discovery of a young Whitney Houston (played by Naomi Ackie).
The musical biopic promises to reveal "the Whitney you never knew," with the trailer previewing her journey from a church choir in New Jersey to the biggest stages around the world. The first footage shows Ackie reliving Houston's performance of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXV and a 1994 concert in South Africa, as well as recreating music videos like "How Will I Know" and "It's Not Right But It's Okay."
"My dream? Sing what I want to sing. Be what I want to be," Ackie's Houston says.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody also stars Clarke Peters and Tamara Tunie as John and Cissy Houston, Ashton Sanders (Moonlight) as Bobby Brown and Nafessa Williams as Houston's longtime best friend, Robyn Crawford. Kasi Lemmons directs from a script by four-time Oscar-nominated Bohemian Rhapsody screenwriter Anthony McCarten, with Davis and Pat Houston, the late singer's sister-in-law and estate executor, serving as producers.
"To transform someone into a matchless icon is virtually impossible but with careful consideration Naomi Ackie was selected based on her quality performances and her deep commitment to emerging into the woman that we all loved," Pat Houston previously said of Ackie's casting.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody opens in theaters on Dec. 21. Watch the trailer below.