In January 2018, we learned that Aretha Franklin handpicked Oscar and Grammy-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson to play her in a biopic about her life. Now, according to Deadline, Franklin’s ‘Respect’ biopic starring Hudson is set to hit the big screen on August 14, 2020.
Hudson, who considered Franklin a mentor and friend, paid homage to the Queen of Soul at her homegoing service last August and again during the CBS “Aretha! A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul” tribute.
“While teaching me about your life, you taught me so much about life and schooled me in mine,” Hudson wrote in an Instagram post on the day Franklin passed away. “I will never forget those teachings.”
Oscar-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri, who wrote ‘Thelma & Louise’ will write the script and award-winning stage director Liesl Tommy is set to direct. With Danai Gurira’s 2016 play, ‘Eclipsed,’ Tommy became the first Black woman to earn a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play.
“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,” Tommy said in a statement. “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.”