Singer and actress Jennifer Hudson is slated to play the late Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, in a new biopic.
The Liesl Tommy-directed film, which is titled Respect, follows the 17-time Grammy winner from her childhood singing in her father’s church to Franklin becoming a superstar. Oscar winner Callie Khouri wrote the script.
Hudson, who sang at Franklin’s funeral in Detroit was handpicked by the Queen of Soul herself to portray her in the film.
“It is an absolute honor to be a part of bringing Ms. Franklin’s story to audiences who adore her around the world,” Hudson said in a statement. “She is one of the most iconic and talented artists of all time and what a dream come true it is to portray her extraordinary life on screen.”
Harvey Mason Jr., who has written and produced songs for both Franklin and Hudson is a producer on the film alongside Scott Bernstein, who produced Straight Outta Compton.
“The story of Aretha Franklin’s journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova is rife with struggle and triumph, making her life one of the great American stories of all time. As a filmmaker there is no greater gift than to be able to bring this transcendent chronicle of a woman’s fight for self-realization to visual life with the enormous talents of the soulful Jennifer Hudson, Callie Khouri, and our incredible producers,” Tommy said in a statement.
Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan