The life and legacy of Aretha Franklin is being depicted on the big screen by none other than Jennifer Hudson in a new biopic.
Aptly titled Respect, after the iconic soul singer’s 1967 anthem, the new film is directed by South African filmmaker Liesl Tommy and is set to hit cinemas worldwide this Friday 10th September, after being released in the US on 13th August.
JHud has already received outstanding reviews for her performance, with an early Oscar buzz surrounding the movie already. So before we all run to our nearest VUE screening this weekend, here’s everything you need to know about Respect…
Who has been cast Respect?
As mentioned, Jennifer Hudson takes the lead in the movie, playing her real life idol Aretha Franklin. According to Reuters, the late star, who passed away in 2018 aged 76, handpicked Jennifer Hudson for the role herself. Hudson, who performed at Franklin’s funeral, told the news outlet that she had weekly phone calls with the Queen of Soul before she died.
She also explained that they had a lot of things in common, including their Christianity. “Our faith – that’s one. I didn’t realize she had the tragedies that she had in her life – that as well,” Hudson said, before going on ti explain that the film was “from the heart, and it’s a tribute to Miss Franklin, and I hope in the best possible way.”
The rest of the cast includes Forest Whitaker, who stars in the film as Aretha Franklin’s Dad, C. L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige.
Is there a trailer?
There is, and it’s so good!
What is Respect about?
Respect traces the life of Franklin from the age of 10, where she was already an extraordinary talent with a voice beyond her years and would perform at her father’s parties as well as in Church. Taking us all the way up to her at the age of 28, the film shows us glimpses into everything from Franklin’s upper middle-class Black upbringing and the family friends she was surrounded by (including Martin Luther King Jr. to Dinah Washington), the death of her mother, the birth of her two children before her 15th birthday and her turbulent marriage to Ted White, as well as her life-changing music career.
“We were all so intensely nervous about shooting Respect,” Tommy told ABC News. “It was so much work. Every single department pushed themselves to the nth degree. There were hundreds of extras.”
Getting candid about the film and her relationship with Franklin, Hudson said: “She’s one of my ultimate idols. And to just meet your idol is a moment in a lifetime, right? So to meet her, and then to be able to pay tribute to her numerous times and then to have it to be my dream to want to play her and then to have her say, I want you to play me? Like that’s a lot to take in.”
She added: “I’m still taking it in, you know?”
Hudson, who already has an Oscar under her belt for her groundbreaking performance in 2008’s Dreamgirls , is already being tipped for yet another nomination for her role in Respect.
We already have a good feeling about it!
When is Respect being released in the UK?
Respect was released in the US on 13th August and will be in cinemas worldwide, including the UK, this Friday 10th September.
The film was originally scheduled for a 2020 release but it was pushed back due to the pandemic.