The British actor will star in I Wanna Dance With Somebody, which is backed by the Houston estate and her music producer Clive Davis.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, 28-year-old Ackie, who played Jannah in 2019’s Star Wars film The Rise of Skywalker, beat actors from around the world to get the part.
The project has been written by Bohemian Rhapsody’s Anthony McCarten, while Stella Meghie will be in the directing chair.
Meghie, who has previously directed films such as The Weekend and The Photograph, said of Ackie’s casting: “We spent the better part of the last year in an exhaustive search for an actress who could embody Whitney Houston.”
“Naomi Ackie impressed us at every stage of the process. I was moved by her ability to capture the stage presence of a global icon while bringing humanity to her interior life.”
Clive Davis, who was a long-time friend and collaborator of the late Houston, said that Ackie’s performance had “sent shivers up my spine”.
Houston enjoyed an immensely successful career as a singer and actor, but passed away in 2012 at the age of 48.
With the backing of Houston’s estate, the film, which is due for release in autumn 2022, will be able to use the singer’s musical back catalogue.
Earlier this year, Ackie won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the TV Baftas for her performance in The End of the F***ing World season two.