In case you missed it, MGM’s trailer for their new Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” which stars Jennifer Hudson as the iconic soul singer, aired during the BET Awards Sunday. We were blown away by the vocals and the costume design and can’t wait to get an even better look at the acting.
Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, RESPECT is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.
Check out the trailer below:
The film stars Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin, Forest Whitaker as her father C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, Tituss Burgess as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler, 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.
We’re excited to see the movie has a Black female director! Liesl Tommy is making her feature film debut with “Respect.” Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for “Eclipsed,” and is an Associate Artist at the Berkeley Rep and an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees. YES to strong powerful, talented, DESERVING Black women — stepping into their purpose!
The film’s story is by Callie Khouri (Oscar ® winner for Thelma & Louise) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play “The Good Negro” written by Wilson, directed by Tommy at The Public Theatre. Wilson was a writer on FX’s “The Americans” which garnered her a Peabody Award as well as Emmy and WGA Award nominations. YES to this too. And this film has BEEN in production so MGM got this right BEFORE the most recent demands for change.