Jennifer Hudson has been tapped to star as the Aretha Franklin in her Respect biopic, which will be arriving in theaters April 14, 2020. It will be directed by Liesl Tommy and scripted by Oscar winner Callie Khouri.
According to Deadline, the biopic will chronicle the 17-time Grammy winner from her childhood days singing in her father’s church’s choir to mega-stardom and the performer of such hit songs as Respect and Chain of Fools. Tradecraft’s Scott Bernstein, who produced Straight Outta Compton, and Harvey Mason Jr., who has written and produced songs for both Franklin and Hudson, are producers on Respect. Before she passed away on August 16, 2018, The Queen Of Soul hand picked Hudson to play her in her biopic.
In an interview with Variety, the producer of the film and friend to Franklin, Harvey Mason says the pair spent “countless hours” going over the details for the film. He also said that going forward with Franklin on this project has been “hard on all levels.”
On Sunday (March 10), Hudson, Fantasia, and other singers who were heavily influenced by Franklin honored her in the Aretha A Grammy Soul Celebration For The Queen Of Soul Tribute.