MGM has set its Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” for an Aug. 14, 2020, release.
Stage director Liesl Tommy boarded the film earlier this year. The studio set the project in motion a year ago when it was announced that Jennifer Hudson, who won a supporting actress Oscar for “Dreamgirls,” had been personally selected for the role by Franklin.
Franklin, who died on Aug. 16 at the age of 76, won 17 Grammys, starting with “Respect” in 1968 and “Chain of Fools” in 1969.
The screenplay for "Respect" will be handled by Callie Khouri, the screenwriter for 1991 classic 'Thelma & Louise.' and the creator of 'Nashville,'.
'Respect', the rise of Franklin’s career — from a child singing in her father’s church choir to a superstar.
Harvey Mason Jr., who has written and produced songs for both Franklin and Hudson and producer of "Respect," spoke to the Free Press last year about certain similarities between Franklin and Hudson's style.
"They both sing with a lot of emotion. They both sing with a lot of range and power. It's really hard to compare anyone with Aretha, though. I think the good thing about Jennifer is that was Aretha's pick to play her. ... There was a lot of discussion about a lot of people, but Aretha was adamant that it be Jennifer."
Aretha Franklin’s 'Amazing Grace' Documentary to Debut in Select Theaters this Spring
According to reports, Neon and Time will screen the concert documentary in select New York and Los Angeles cinemas on April 5, before expanding it to theaters across the country later this year.
Check out the documentary trailer below