A new trailer for I Wanna Dance With Somebody paints a portrait of Whitney Houston’s career in shades of highs and lows.
A first look at the biographical drama about Houston’s life and career recounts a star on the rise and the fated run-in with music mogul Clive Davis that launched her into super stardom. But a second glimpse at the upcoming film depicts what happened once the “I Have Nothing” singer made it to the top.
The trailer, below, flashes through some of Houston’s career milestones and holds back none of the drama in between. The clip opens with Houston, depicted by actress Naomi Ackie, responding to a radio host who says that her music “isn’t Black enough.”
“That’s just bull,” she says in the clip. “And it makes me angry, actually. It’s hateful and uninformed. My whole life, ‘She ain’t Black enough, she ain’t white enough.’”
“Music is not a color to me,” she continues. “It has no boundaries. I sing what I want to sing, be how I want to be, and reach as big an audience I can.”
The clip also touches on the complex relationship between Houston and her father, John, played by Clarke Peters. Heavy moments punctuate the short trailer as Houston’s goosebump-inducing vocals shine in the background. Check it out below.
I Wanna Dance with Somebody also features support from Stanley Tucci as the aforementioned Clive Davis, Ashton Sanders as Houston’s husband and fellow-artist Bobby Brown, and Tamara Tunie as the singer’s mother, Cissy Houston. Directed by Kasi Lemmons, the film boasts writing chops from Bohemian Rhapsody‘s Anthony McCarten and sees Davis’ guiding hand as a producer on the film.
Scheduled to arrive on Dec. 21, the biopic is “a powerful and triumphant celebration of the incomparable Whitney Houston” and “a no-holds-barred portrait of the complex and multifaceted woman behind The Voice” reads the film’s official synopsis.
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)