You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
Back to IndieWire

About That Whitney Houston Biopic That’s Supposed To Be In Development…

About That Whitney Houston Biopic That's Supposed To Be In Development...

Soooo… as we saw after Michael Jackson died, there was an immediate rush to capitalize on the man’s death, with song and film. I’m FULLY expecting a similar thing to happen with Whitney Houston throughout this year, going into next year.

Of most curiosity to me is the biopic that has long been rumored to be in the works, which Clive Davis is supposedly producing, with a number of actresses names supposedly attached to play Whitney in the film, and others who’ve only said that they’d love to play her if a film were ever made about her life. 

Most recently, in an interview about 2 weeks ago, before Houston’s death, Brandy said that it would be her dream role to play Whitney, stating:

My dream role is to play Whitney Houston. Of course she would have to sing all the songs . . . but I would Love to play Ms. Whitney. I have her entire personality down pat, her isms down pat. Like no offence ladies, there’s a lot of talented ladies out there but nobody can play Whitney Houston like me.

Ok. If you say so.

Before Brandy, there was Lark Voorhies who was said to have bee tapped to play the title role back in 2009; even Vivica Fox was once rumored years before that, in her *younger* days.

So, with Whitney’s death, might there suddenly be some renewed interest in getting the film done, and done relatively quickly to capitalize on her passing?

I won’t be surprised. I’m just waiting for the announcement to break.

Who will be cast to play her? I dunno… I’m actually not a big fan of biopics. I’d actually prefer a multi-part comprehensive documentary from birth to death that really reveals the person. Or maybe instead pic some specific significant moment in her life (whether it’s one important day, week, month, year, or a couple of years) and structure a film around that.

We’ll see if anything does happen.

But who would you choose to play Whitney in a film about her life?

This Article is related to: Features and tagged ,



I wouldn't believe Brandy Norwood or Megan Good as Whitney Houston. I'm sure with the proper coaching the biopic would be ok, but they don't look like Whitney at all. They are stars in their own right and I would feel as if I'm watching Brandy or Megan pretending to be Whitney as oppose to getting lost in the story and believing that I'm watching Whitney…Joy Bryant looks like Whitney Houston, physically and facial wise..she could do it, and I would believe it if the acting is raw and powerful.


I think the best person to play a younger Whitney would be Kelly Rowland


I read that Meagan Good has been campaigning to play Whitney in her movie for a while now.


I say Derek Luke or Chris Brown (with acting lessons) for Bobby. Who could play Clive and Dionne?


I say give her daughter some acting classes for the basics and who better to play her than Bobbi Kristina


My picks in order 1. Joy 2. Yaya 3. Brandy.


I believe they should just dub the vocals (is that correct terminology?) for anyone who is chosen to play this role. It's not worth looking for someone who can sing as they couldn't sing like her anyway. Her voice is too strong and unique. I rather focus on someone who can act and hopefully capture the joy and pain Whitney went thru. She burst on to the scene and then just flamed out right before our eyes. Good biopics don't focus on the talent, but the heart and soul of the person behind it.


Joy would be my second choice. The person whose face structure is most like Whitney is Liya Kebede. She has a natural regality that is important to embody the role, has been in a number of smaller projects, but with a coach could pull it off. Her acting in several features has been strong, including a DeNiro production. I enjoy seeing Yaya onscreen as well, but she would have to undergo voice lessons…her natural voice is cracky and too high. Houston's is much deeper.


OK, just looked at Yaya again, she could definately do it as well. Joy or Yaya- no one else is even close.


Joy Bryant- definately! She has very similar looks, is a decent actress, similar build, etc. Paula Patton is beautiful, but doesnt resemble Whitney at all. Google Joy and tell me what you all think!


Firstly, There is no one out there who can match her vocal talent so don't worry about them doing any real singing. Plus, Clive is too obsessed with her to let someone come mess up her records in a film honoring her. Two, You guy's are just throwing names out there Rihanna, Gabby Sidibe, Monica (Whom never acted a day in her life), Dondria (Such a unknown i had to goggle her), Wendy Requal Robinson (Whose strong suit is comedy), RuPaul (A men) , Tamyra Gray (who?), Debra Wilson (Wouldn't be believable because of the MadTv flashbacks).

Nicole Beharie, Nia Long and Anika Noni Rose are all great talents but they also come off very short and petite on the screen. Whitney's long legs were very noticeable. I would have to agree from a Physical standpoint Joy bryant would be my pick (after some heavy acting classes) since she looks so much like a younger whitney, Vivica Foxx can pull off older whitney. I agree with R.J. about Paula Patton and Rashida Jones.

If i were a movie producer i would honesty give the role to YaYa Dacosta. She is the only one i believe would actually embody the role, she has raw talent and i have seen her give her all in the smallest roles, just imagine her tackling Nippy's life story. When i think of Whit's height, thin figure and striking features. Yaya pops in my head because she resembles Whitney (Shes also a actual model.)

I didn't like how everyone wrote off brandy so quick so i wanna cut for her now. She feels the same way about Whit as Halle felt about Dorothy Dandridge. No she hasn't knocked me out with a role yet. . . . but when you have a admiration for someone your not gonna half-step it when the time comes. No she isn't drop dead gorgeous and she's not ugly either(to me) but that's the reason she was casted in Cinderella because she wasn't the general publics view of beauty. I believe after some serious acting lessons Brandy could give a compelling performance of her idol/close friend. Whitney adored brandy, bran was her protege not Jennifer hudson, A.Keys or Beyonce. All women who got the title only because they hit high notes. Whitney say something extra special in Brandy she didn't see in no one else (herself). Whit & Bran have special bond so i'm sure Brandy could give us an insight into the Whitney we didn't know, plus there are so many parallels between them from personal struggles, having only one child (Daughters), Whitney dieing on her Bran's birthday, both having the glossed over good-girl image, etc. The day before she died she gave Brandy a note (It's speculation that she gave her the blessing to play her).

I also find it funny how everyone wrote off brandy but as i was goggling both Gabrielle union & Yaya Dacosta i past up pics where all three could past as sisters. LMAO


I have some more suggestions: Holly Robinson Peete or Tamyra Gray (from American Idol fame).


Dondria and Monica both have the stature/look and can sing, but I doubt either one has the acting chops. Let's just leave it alone, yes?

Tim Thomas

I Say Between Nicole Behaire, & Wendy Requal Robinson


There's no way to say this but to say it, so here it is: I think it's important that a brown-skinned sister play Whitney. I've heard many black women recall the pride and awe they felt when they first saw Whitney Houston because she was someone who looked like them. Paula Patton and Rashida Jones are both beautiful and talented women, but they are not right for this role. They fit the standard of beauty set by Hollywood and we need someone who will buck the trend the way Whitney did. I think Nicole Beharie would kill if this movie ever gets made, Joy Bryant is another good suggestion, I'm not sure her depth as an actress has been properly explored yet but I do like her.

Joseph Garrett

Yaya Dacosta.


RuPaul or Debra Wilson or forget it!


I think they should just wait to do this. It appears to be too soon at this point. I don't necessarily have a problem with making a bio-pic when the subject is still alive (Ray was already in production and I think it had even completed filming while Ray Charles was yet alive). Timing is everything though. Perhaps the person who can sing, act and resemble Whitney hasn't even been discovered yet. I just think it's too soon and at this point after her tragic end, it seems a bit…bottom-feederish (not a word, I know) or maybe tacky is the word.


Paula Patton would be great because she is drop dead gorgeous like Whitney. You have to remember that Whitney was a model before she was a singer. She was tall, thin and had striking features.

I think Paula Patton has the combination of beauty and acting skill to pull it off. But I agree with those who don't want Clive Davis in charge. We don't want the Disney version. Give us the real story or don't tell it at all.




Well, with Clive Davis (Whitney's former producer) possibly producing the biopic, we know one thing: it won't be a neutral (e.g. truthful) depiction of her life and struggles. That man has always looked like a parasite to me. Just my opinion.


From a physical standpoint the ideal person would be Joy Bryant . . . not sure she can handle the acting though


Just thought of another one – who is the Broadway actress who won a Tony for BOOK OF MORMON? She can do this too.


I never understand the rush for biopics even for living people, seems like it's a marginally talented Black celeb thing. Like Drake pining to play President Obama. And Brandy needs to remain in her seat. I also advocate for great docs, but folks want entertainment they can munch popcorn to, so tey can debate about how well or badly the role was played. Ad its usually stuff we already know about that person's life.

Douglas Paul

I don't know if they can sing but Gabby Union or Nia Long would be good choices.


They better cast Gabby Sidibe in the role, or else face a petition from some weirdo with nothing better to do with her time than start meaningless petitions.


all too tragically, just swap around the names, haven't we already seen this "biopic" a million times?
that said, i, too, would prefer a documentary: no guarantees, but a doc is likely to be more informative, less likely to fall into cliché, hagiography and other "political" bs. and, all things being equal, i would prefer facts and images from her real life (and voice) rather than some artist's heavy-handed take on those things.


I'm with Cherish. I think (besides height) Anika Noni Rose would be ideal… please god in heaven not Brandy. I also think she hit the nail on the head about timing… nothing worse than seeing a horrible movie about someone you love and admire


Anika Noni Rose or Nicole Beharie. Anika can sing and act, and with Nicole you can dub the vocals. In my opinion, its not important if the actor can sing or not, the acting is far more important.

I don't mind biopics, but I hate when they are rushed, just to capitalize off the star's recent passing. This can come out 5 years from now, and if done right, can still be a success. Its Whitney Houston – the interest will still be there.


I think Paula Patton.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *