Aretha Franklin Biopic Starring Jennifer Hudson Set for a 2020 Release
Acclaimed stage director Liesl Tommy, the first black woman to earn a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play, will direct Respect, a feature film based on the life of music icon Aretha Franklin.
As previously announced, Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild, BAFTA and Grammy Award winner Jennifer Hudson was personally handpicked by Ms. Franklin to portray her on the big screen.
Academy Award and Golden Globe winner CALLIE KHOURI (Thelma & Louise, creator of Nashville) will pen the screenplay following the RISE of Ms. Franklin's career, from a child singing in her father's church's choir to an iconic and international superstar. The announcement was made today by Jonathan Glickman, President, Motion Picture Group.
Tradecraft's Scott Bernstein and Harvey Mason, Jr., renowned Grammy Award nominated music producer who has written and produced songs for both Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson, will produce. Glickman and Adam Rosenberg, MGM's Co- President of Production, are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio.
Respect is the remarkable true story of Aretha Franklin's journey to find her voice in the midst of the turbulent social and political landscape of 1960s America. Ms. Franklin landed over 100 singles in the Billboard charts, including 17 Top 10 pop singles and 20 No. 1 R&B hits, winning 18 GRAMMY AWARDS and was the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Franklin's reinvention of Otis Redding's "Respect" as a feminist anthem transformed her into an icon of the civil rights and women's movements. Her cultural impact was felt throughout her career, from her singing at Dr. Martin LUTHER King's memorial service to performing at three presidential inaugurations. In addition to "Respect," her countless hits including "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," "Do Right Woman - Do Right Man," and "Think" were beloved around the world and will be featured in the motion picture.
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