The life and times of the legendary “Queen Of Soul”, Aretha Franklin, is something many people wanted to see come to the big screen. Franklin who passed away in August of 2018, hand picked Jennifer Hudson to portray her life in a biopic.
The icon is so revered that another project is being created under the banner of National Geographic Network. Cynthia Erivo will play Franklin in the limited series Genius: Aretha.
Jennifer Hudson has reacted to the news by stating that Aretha wanted her life to be celebrated on the big screen or not at all. During a conversation with Entertainment Weekly, the Academy Award-winner said Aretha was “adamant that [her life] be a film. If it’s not a film, it’s nothing. I’m just honored that she picked me to play her. I mean, who can say that? And again, I would have never done it without her wishes.”
National Geographic is pulling out all the stops as Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks is hired to oversee the production as also be co-executive producer. Brian Grazer will be executive producer as well with a team of Ron Howard, music mogul Clive Davis, Atlantic Records Chairman, and CEO Craig Kallman and Ken Biller of Fox 21 Television Studios and Imagine Television Studios.
The film is entitled “Respect” and is starring Hudson as Aretha, but also has a strong team of Forest Whitaker as Franklin’s famous father, Rev. C.L. Franklin, alongside Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, and Marlon Wayans.
Following a limited release on Christmas Day, the biopic will be released on January 15, 2021.
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