In just a few weeks, the world will see exactly why Aretha Franklin hand-picked actress and singer Jennifer Hudson to portray her in the forthcoming biopic, Respect. The feature film is set to premiere this August after several COVID-19 related delays, and the team behind the film has worked hard to keep the buzz alive by releasing several trailers, movie clips, and featurettes as the premiere nears. And for those who have been eagerly awaiting its debut, a second behind-the-scenes video, released this week, will only heighten the excitement. In the new clip (below), we watch as Jennifer Hudson transforms into the Queen of Soul, accompanied by commentary from the cast and crew. Hudson not only has the pipes to take on Franklin’s music with astounding accuracy—she’s also studied the late legend as an individual, and captured her essence through a stellar acting performance.
“Aretha identified in [Jennifer Hudson], ‘This is who I want. This is who will be able to deliver what I deliver,’” says Respect music producer Jason Michael Webb. Hudson also reflects on her connection to Franklin in the clip, and how it helped her embody the late musical icon: “Music was Aretha’s comfort zone, her expression,” she says. “And I feel like that’s why her and I relate.” The official trailer, which was released in May, depicts Aretha Franklin’s rise to fame—from days spent at the piano as a child to convincing record labels she was capable of greatness as a young adult. “There are so many layers to Aretha Franklin,” Hudson says in the new behind-the-scenes clip. “She’s an artist, she’s a woman, she’s an icon. But the biggest impact on her were the people in her life.” Curious what to expect from the film? Below, find everything you need to know ahead of the premiere.
This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.
Talk of an Aretha Franklin biopic has been happening for years.
While the official trailer for Respect was released earlier this year, Franklin had talked up the idea of a movie being made about her life for more than a decade. Before her passing in 2018, Franklin famously made a point to handpick Jennifer Hudson to portray her. While the Queen of Soul’s goosebump-inducing vocals may be inimitable, this isn’t the first time Hudson has performed in the late singer’s honor. She sang at Franklin’s funeral, CBS’s Aretha! (A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul), and Clive Davis’s tribute to Franklin. As for in the film, music producer Stephen Bray notes that “Every song, every take, everything that’s on camera, Jennifer sings live.”
The rest of the cast is stacked, too.
In addition to Hudson, the cast includes Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Mary J. Blige, Marlon Wayans, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, and Tate Donovan.
Respect will be director Liesl Tommy’s feature debut.
While the stage and film director’s past work includes The Walking Dead and Insecure, Respect will be her first big feature. Tommy was the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play for “Eclipsed” in 2016. When speaking about Respect, Tommy says “The thing that kept coming to me was the idea of a woman who has the greatest voice in the world, but who still doesn’t know what her voice is.”
The film will show more than just Franklin’s career highlights.
In addition to spotlighting Franklin’s rise to stardom, the MGM biopic will highlight her early life in Detroit, involvement in the civil rights movement, and, in the wise words of the Queen of Soul, her fight for “respect” in the music industry and beyond. “To get to the joy is to show the struggle,” says Tommy. “And the only way for the audience to understand how extraordinary she is is to show what she overcame.”
Respect is set to premiere on August 13, 2021.
Since the first teaser trailer was released, the film’s premiere has been pushed back twice. It will officially debut in mid-August of this year.
BUY PRE-SALE TICKETS
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io