Prior to her death in 2018, Aretha Franklin personally chose Jennifer Hudson to star in Respect, the Hollywood biopic about her life and career. Following Hudson's revered performance of Nina Simone's "Young, Gifted & Black", the Dream Girls star's acting career has been on the rise, and her performance as the Queen of Soul is sure to show us why.
Respect will follow Franklin's iconic career from her teenager years when she sang gospel in her father's church, through to her global success with Atlantic Records in the 1960s.
But more importantly, the film will trace Franklin's heavily overlooked contribution to the Civil Rights Moment. At a time in history where, due to the Black Lives Matter protests, the lives of BIPOC citizens are being fought for, it's only fitting that Franklin's work with the movement continues to be praised today. After all, her words continue to ring true, declaring: “You have to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace.”
With BIPOC storytelling finally getting the recognition it deserves, this film is no exception. Respect was written by celebrated African American writer Tracey Scott Wilson, known for her work on The Americans, and directed by South African auteur Liesl Tommy, who made history as the first Black woman to earn a Tony nomination for Eclipsed, a play that became the first with an all-Black female cast and team on Broadway.
And it seems that the cast is just as impressive, featuring stars such as, Jennifer Hudson in her incredible performance as Aretha Franklin, Mary J. Blige, Queen Latifah, Tituss Burgess, and Forest Whitaker, to name a few.
Respect is set to hit cinemas on January 15, 2021.
Interested? Check out their uncanny resemblance in the trailer below.