Saturday, July 2, 2022

Respect! Aretha Franklin’s Biographical Film is Directed by A Black Woman | VIDEO

Jennifer Hudson (as Aretha1 - Respect)
Jennifer Hudson (as Aretha)

*The new MGM film “Respect, starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, follows the rise of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.

The story shows Franklin on a quest for stardom and independence from the controlling men in her life.

It starts at the early beginnings of her career as a child singing in her father’s choir to her international superstardom.

“Respect” is also directed by a Black woman – Liesl Tommy – who makes her feature film debut.

Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for “Eclipsed.” She talked to EURs Jill Munroe about how her vision for the film never changed from her initial pitch.

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Actor Jennifer Hudson and director Liesl Tommy on the set of RESPECT. A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert

“When I spoke to the studio about the film, I pitched a very specific idea about what I thought this should be,” said Tommy. “And the tag line I came up with back then was, this is a movie about a woman with the greatest voice on earth, who was struggling to find her voice. And they immediately got it. I also told them I didn’t want it to be a birth to death biopic. I wanted it to be a specific time period, so we could really get to know her, and what made her the superstar she became. So I brought in a writer I absolutely adore, Tracey Scott Wilson, and that’s the movie that got written, shot, and edited, and that’s the movie you saw.”

RESPECT
Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Forest Whitaker as her father C.L. Franklin in RESPECT. A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert

“Respect” also stars Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler, Tituss Burgess as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, Kimberly Scott as Mama Franklin, Saycon Sengbloh as Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin, Heather Headley as Clara Ward, Skye Dakota Turner as Young Aretha Franklin, Tate Donovan as John Hammond and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington.

See #RespectMovie only in theaters on August 13, 2021.

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