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Clive Davis shares thoughts on upcoming Whitney Houston biopic

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Some have tried their hand at a Whitney Houston biopic, but an authorized story of the singer’s life will soon make its debut. I Wanna Dance with Somebody, named after her 1987 hit, is due out December 17 — amid the merry holiday season.

The film is about Whitney’s rise to fame, but centers on her relationship with mentor/record executive Clive Davis, who serves as a producer on the project. 

Speaking to Billboard, Clive says it was time that “a full-fledged theatrical biopic be done on Whitney.” To ensure the biopic was an accurate depiction of her life, he made sure Anthony McCarten, who wrote the film, researched “every aspect of Whitney,” and even went as far as introducing him to her family and collaborators.

When he felt that the final script “was authentic, honest and understood the full nature of Whitney’s life,” Clive brought McCarten to Pat Houston, executor of Whitney’s estate, and Larry Mestel, CEO and founder of Primary Wave. They produced the film alongside Davis, Sony Tristar and Compelling Pictures.

With the film complete, Clive says he’s satisfied, especially with the portrayal of his relationship with Whitney. He notes that the film “hit home,” is realistic and is “very accurate in its portrayal of the dialogues we had.”

The record exec hopes the biopic has “a very positive effect” on Whitney’s legacy, as “it shows real depth and understanding of who she was, as well as the magnitude of what her musical life represented.”

He says seeing Whitney be celebrated again brings him “a combination of enormous pride, enormous regret at her premature passing, wonderment at the uniqueness of her incomparable voice and the impact she had on musicians, artists, singers everywhere.”

“It’s been quite the emotional human experience,” Clive adds.

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