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Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo Play Aretha Franklin, Who Did it Better?

Aretha Franklin Still

One of the most awaited films this year is ‘Respect’. It is a biopic film about Aretha Franklin. Grammy and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson will play the legend in her prime era around the 1960s to 1970s. MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) created a biopic of the legendary 60s soul singer, Aretha Franklin. “This film tells the story of Aretha Franklin’s career revival from singing children in her father’s choir to international superstars,” MGM wrote in a statement. “Respect is an incredible true story of a music icon’s journey to define his own voice,” he continued.

In addition to the Oscar-winning Jennifer Hudson, the film will also star Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans as important parts of film. Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan, and Mary J. Blige will also take part. Liesl Tommy will direct the movie. Tommy is a South African woman director and playwright. She also has other projects coming up as well namely ‘Born a Crime’ starring Lupito Nyong’o.

Trailer reveal

The new trailer for the biopic about Aretha Franklin was officially released during the BET Awards in 2020. In the trailer released by MGM, Jennifer Hudson shows her vocal power to deliver the hit song. High notes and a clear voice are right there in the trailer.


The trailer video is full of several numbers of films footage depicting Franklin’s life journey. It starts with the stunning action of Jennifer Hudson – who plays the Queen of Soul – singing the legendary song Respect. Dressed in gold, Hudson stood on a stage with a sign that reads, “RESPECT.” Singer Jennifer Hudson performed the late Aretha Franklin’s song ‘Respect’ in the trailer. Jennifer Hudson had previously snatched an Oscar for ‘Dreamgirls’ in 2007. The movie will tell the story of the Queen of Soul from the beginning of her career.

Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin

The film Respect follows Franklin’s life from singing in his father’s church to becoming one of the most legendary musicians of all time. People have been waiting for Jennifer Hudson’s role in this movie. This will mark her movie comeback after the mega flop of ‘Cats’ in 2019. The film was originally ready for release in August 2020 but was postponed again due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. And then, the film was moving again to have a limited release in the US to coincide with Christmas Day celebrations, before going public on January 15 next year. The latest update is saying that the film will eventually come on 8 April 2021.

Also Read: Emma Stone as ‘Cruella’ Analysis, Trailer Drops Today

Another Aretha Franklin biopic is also coming

But Jennifer Hudson is not the only actress who portrays the Queen of Soul. Apart from Hudson, actress Cynthia Erivo is also set to play Franklin on television through the anthology series “Genius: Aretha.” However, the biography produced by National Geographic was also set back due to Covid-19. This limited series is going to have its premiere late this March.

Cynthia Erivo will also play Aretha Franklin in a National Geographic series about Aretha Franklin

Even so, the release of Genius: Aretha has to be delayed due to COVID-19. But the good news is that it will air on March 21 this year. Previously, Cynthia Erivo already got rave reviews and even an Oscar nomination for her role in ‘Harriet’ in 2020.

Also read: Most Offensive and Controversial Roles in Hollywood Movies

The story of ‘Queen of Soul’ Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin in the music video of ‘I Say a Little Prayer For You’

For the film ‘Respect’, Franklin actually allowed Jennifer Hudson to play herself. Aretha Franklin also took part in the production of the film Respect before dying in 2018. She died at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer on August 16, 2018, in Detroit, Michigan, United States. During her lifetime, Franklin has won 18 Grammy trophies and was nominated 44 times for this prestigious award. Reporting from Rollingstone, the biopic Respect will be released on January 15, 2020, worldwide.

Aretha Franklin died after a long battle with cancer on August 16, 2018, at the age of 76 Her singing style also has a lot of influence on other singers. Fans will certainly remember the hits he had ever popularized such as Respect (1967), Natural Woman (1968) and I Say a Little Prayer (1968). Her departure certainly caused sorrow in the music world.

Also read: Two Decades After ‘Almost Famous’, Here’s Why It’s So Great

Written By

A writer, a thinker, a voice actor, and a movie/book enthusiast. Here Tony shares his love and excitement for pop culture. You can reach out to him on Facebook.

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