MGM has released the first trailer for Respect, the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson. Franklin personally chose Hudson to portray her in the biopic of her life before her death on August 16, 2018, of pancreatic cancer.
The film is directed by Liesl Tommy, the first Black woman to be nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of A Play. Straight Outta Compton producer Scott Bernstein and Grammy Award-winning music producer Harvey Mason, Jr. will serve as producers.
In addition to Hudson, the all-star cast includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Tate Donovan and Skye Dakota Turner.
Whitaker stars as Reverend C.L. Franklin. Known as the man with the "Million-Dollar Voice," Franklin served as the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Franklin was also the father of the American singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin and her manager early in her career. Wayans stars as Ted White, Aretha’s first husband. McDonald stars as Barbara Franklin, Aretha’s mother. Sengbloh stars as Erma Franklin, Aretha’s eldest sister. Kilgore stars as Carolyn Franklin, Aretha's younger sister. Picked from a nationwide search, young Aretha Franklin will be played by Turner. Blige stars as famed recording artist Dinah Washington. Headley will play Clara Ward, the famed gospel artist and leader of The Famous Ward Singers. Burgess stars as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, who was known as the “King of Gospel.” Maron stars as legendary Atlantic Records music producer Jerry Wexler. Donovan stars as John Hammond, Columbia Records’ influential music producer.
Watch the first footage below:
The film will be in theaters on October 9, 2020.
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