aretha franklin

Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Taking Care Of Business!!!

Aretha Franklin biopic, simply titled Respect, is literally taking care of business. Featured by MGM, a slew of veteran celebrities have jumped on board to celebrate the legendary story of Ms. Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin Story To Feature Family Beginnings, Musical Influences, International Success and Tumultuous Relationships

Not only will her outstanding career be chronicled, but it will also spotlight her start singing in her fathers church choir, along with her journey to international superstardom.

Additionally, the Tracey Scott Wilson penned movie will shed light on her musical influences and her tumultuous relationships.

Showing mad respect for the Queen of Soul, these highly decorated celebrities are among those attached to the project –

aretha franklin
  • Jennifer Hudson – as Aretha Franklin
  • Skye Dakota Turner – as a young Aretha Franklin
  • Forest Whitaker – as the Rev. C.L. Franklin (Aretha’s father and manager)
  • Audra McDonald – as Barbara (Aretha’s mother, who abandoned the family when Aretha was a child, then mysteriously died a few years later)
  • Saycon Sengbloh – as Erma (Aretha’s older sister)
  • Hailey Kilgore – as Carolyn (Aretha’s sister)
  • Marlon Wayans – as Ted White (Aretha’s abusive first husband who she married at age 19)
  • Mary J. Blige – as the legendary Dinah Washington
  • Heather Headley – as gospel music pioneer Clara Ward (a musical influence, and lover of Aretha’s father)
  • Tituss Burgess – as the Rev. Dr. James Cleveland (close family friend)
  • Marc Maron – as Jerry Wexler (legendary record producer of Atlanta Records)
  • Tate Donovan – as John Hammond (record producer at Columbia Records)

‘Respect’ Biopic Marks First Authorized Feature Chronicling Aretha Franklin’s Rise to Fame in the ’60’s and ’70’s

Directed by the South African born Tony Award nominee, Liesl Tommy, this project marks the first authorized feature chronicling Aretha Franklin’s rise to fame in the ’60’s and ’70’s, according to the Root. Tommy stated –

“I am thrilled with the incredibly talented cast we have assembled for our film, and I’m so proud that Ms. Franklin entrusted us to tell her story and to share it with the world.”

“As a storyteller, hers is the kind of story we all dream of telling. Her music has inspired me since I was a little girl, and the milestones of her life and career have shown us all how to strive and thrive. To have this powerhouse group of actors — and the phenomenal talent of Jennifer Hudson in this iconic role — means we have the chance of making this film as transcendent as her glorious life and legacy.”

Shooting begins on November 1st in Atlanta, Georgia. With exclusive rights to the following songs, the production will feature these monster hits –

  • Respect
  • I Say A Little Prayer
  • Think
  • You Make Me Feel Like A (Natural Woman)
  • You’ve Got A Friend
  • Dr. Feelgood
  • Do Right Woman
  • Spanish Harlem
  • Young, Gifted and Black
  • Ain’t No Way
  • Precious Lord
  • There’s A Fountain Filled With Blood
  • Amazing Grace
  • Chain of Fools

Franklin Expressed The Importance Of Having Jennifer Hudson Play Her Character

Executive Producers for this film are Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth. Tapped to produce is Scott Bernstein and Harvey Mason Jr., who have worked with both Jennifer Hudson and Aretha Franklin. Bernstein and Mason Jr. shared the personal blessing they received from Aretha Franklin herself.

“We were given the rare privilege to work with Ms. Franklin directly to curate the stories she most wanted to share and the moments in her life that made her who she was. Over the years, she imparted to us how important it was to her that we share her story on the big screen and how important it was to have Jennifer in this role. To have that kind of deeply personal trust and insight from Ms. Franklin was nothing short of amazing for everyone involved.” – Bernstein and Mason Jr.

Sounds like a “Must See,” can’t wait for this one.

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