Oscar-awardee Jennifer Hudson is Aretha Franklin in ‘RESPECT’ biopic

Published May 25, 2021, 6:08 AM

by Punch Liwanag

American Idol alumna will play the Queen of Soul in the upcoming film.

The official trailer for the Aretha Franklin biopic, titled “RESPECT” was released last weekend. And playing the Queen the Soul is none other than Jennifer Hudson. The Oscar awarded supporting actress will play as the lead star in the Tom McCarthy-directed movie.

In the trailer, Jennifer Hudson as Aretha is seen in the early days of her career, a talented singer recording other people’s songs but finds having her first hit song elusive. She is convinced eventually to ‘write’ her own song, the cut to the scene where Hudson (as Aretha) is in the studio in front of the piano laying out the words to what would eventually become her big hit.  

The movie is titled after one of Aretha Franklin’s biggest hits. “Respect” is a song originally recorded by legendary R&B singer Otis Redding in 1965. But the song became a bigger hit and eventually became a signature song for Aretha Franklin when she released her version in 1967. With Franklin’s version, the song became a declaration from a strong, capable and confident woman who deserves respect and demands it from her man. Aretha’s has its alterations from Otis Redding’s version.

Jennifer Hudson is cast perfectly as the Hall of Famer not only for her acting skills but for her incredible voice that can emulate the style and range of Aretha Franklin.

“RESPECT” also stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Saycon Sengbloh, Haley Kilgore, Brenda Nicole Moorer, Mac Maron, Tituss Burgess, Kimberly Scott, Leroy McClain and Tate Donovan. Story by Callie Khouri and Tracey Scott Wilson (who also wrote the screenplay).

The film is scheduled for cinemas on July 30, 2021.