Friday, May 14, 2021

Jennifer Hudson’s Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Pushed Back to Summer 2021

Aretha Franklin Biopic
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*The Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” starring Jennifer Hudson, has been pushed back to summer 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the second time the film has been delayed.

“Respect” is now moving from Jan. 15, 2021 to Aug. 13, 2021. 

We previously reported… Hudson has spoken out about the biopic, noting that she shared a special connection with Franklin. Before her passing in 2018, the music icon gave Hudson her blessing to play her on the big screen.

Directed by Broadway veteran Liesl Tommy, the film also stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Marc Maron, Kimberly Scott, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige.

READ MORE: Jennifer Hudson Shades Nat Geo’s Aretha Franklin Project: ’If It’s Not a Film, It’s Nothing’

Months after filming on the project wrapped, Hudson said this of Franklin: “I still feel like she’s in me, I really do. I just hope to meet her requests. You think you respect Aretha, but once you see the film and you learn her story, you can’t help but to have a newfound respect for her.”

She also had this to say about her personal connection with the Queen of Soul, “I still have the text chains, so every now and then I look back at them. The last time I spoke to her was Aug. 8, [2018,] and I can honestly say she sang until her last breath.”

In related news, filming on National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha starring Cynthia Enrivo has been halted after a background actor tested positive for COVID-19. The program is slated to debut in early 2021. 

When asked about the competing projects in an interview earlier this month, Hudson dropped some subtle shade, saying  “I know that 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.”

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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