Jennifer Hudson portrays Aretha Franklin in RESPECT, releasing later this year, which celebrates the life and music of the legendary Queen of Soul. The movie will feature Aretha Franklin’s most iconic hits such as “Respect,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Think,” “A Natural Woman,” “Chain of Fools,” and “I Never Loved a Man” as well as re-enactments of her most famous performances throughout the 1960s and early 1970s.
To connect people during this difficult time and offer much needed entertainment, Jennifer Hudson will be performing a live Instagram concert this Wednesday, 25 March at 1pm PST (10pm South African time) in partnership with Global Citizen organization. The Instagram Live concert will be hosted on her own social handle @iamjhud. Although the concert will not be exclusively Aretha Franklin’s music, it will be a salute to Aretha.
Hudson, who was personally hand-picked by Franklin to play her in the film, is joined by a stellar cast of stars including Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner Forest Whitaker; Marlon Wayans; Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winner Audra McDonald; Multiple Grammy winning, and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominee Mary J. Blige; Marc Maron; Emmy-nominee Tituss Burgess; Tony-nominee Saycon Sengbloh; Tony-nominee Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, and Skye Dakota Turner.
The first authorized feature film based on Franklin’s life, RESPECT is directed by Tony-nominee Liesl Tommy (Broadway’s Eclipsed) and is written by Emmy-nominee Tracey Scott Wilson (The Americans, Fosse / Verdon).
Franklin’s reinvention of Otis Redding’s Respect as a feminist anthem transformed her into an icon of the civil rights and women’s movements. Her cultural impact was felt throughout her career, from her singing at Dr. Martin Luther King’s memorial service to performing at three presidential inaugurations.
The film began shooting in November 2019 and will be released late in 2020.