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Jennifer Hudson is ‘up for the task’ to play Aretha Franklin in biopic

Aretha Franklin, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 76, had handpicked Jennifer Hudson to bring her life story on screen.

By: PTI | Los Angeles | Updated: June 8, 2020 8:25:37 am
Jennifer Hudson aretha franklin Jennifer Hudson will play the role of Aretha Franklin in Respect. (Photo: Jennifer Hudson/Instagram)

Actor Jennifer Hudson is all geared up to play music icon Aretha Franklin in biopic, Respect, says producer Stacey Sher. Franklin, who passed away in 2018 at the age of 76, had handpicked Hudson to bring her life story on screen.

Sher, the executive producer on the project, said it was an honour for the team to have approval of Franklin.

“Well, I think it was a little bit less daunting to tell that story when the person whose shoes you’re filling asked Jennifer to play her. Ms. Franklin hand-selected Jennifer to play her. So, I think that that was a great honour, and I think Jennifer’s definitely up for the task,” the producer told The Hollywood Reporter.

The project hails from MGM and will also feature Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and Mary J Blige as well as Broadway star Audra McDonald and Marc Maron in pivotal roles.

McDonald will play Aretha’s mother, Barbara Franklin, while Blige will essay the role of recording artiste Dinah Washington.

Wayans will portray Ted White, Franklin’s abusive first husband.

The project will be directed by Tony-nominee Liesl Tommy from a screenplay by Tracey Scott Wilson.

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