That the Queen of Soul herself, the late Aretha Franklin, is getting her own biopic isn’t a big surprise. The problem, of course, is finding someone who can match her amazing vocal talent, which is why the film Respect stars Grammy and Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson.
Respect is based on the title of Franklin’s unforgettable hit song, and charts the course of a career that led her to be the first female ever inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer. The film seems to be following the standard music biopic model, but the timing on this one couldn’t be better as Franklin saw her rise to fame in the turbulent 1960s. “You have to disturb the peace, when you can’t get no peace”, she can be heard saying in this new teaser.
Joining Hudson in the cast are Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Heather Headley, Marc Maron, Tate Donovan, and Titus Burgess. Good lord, between Hudson, McDonald, and Blige you’ve got some of the most talented singers of the screen and stage altogether in one place. Hudson is coming off her unfortunate, yet powerfully-voiced role in Cats. She won an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls.
Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect opens this December.