Aretha Franklin Biopic Starring Jennifer Hudson Names Its Director

Published: Thursday 10th Jan 2019 by Sam

MGM‘s much touted Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’ is coming together at a quite a pace.

As reported, Jennifer Hudson has been cast in the lead role as the legendary Queen of Soul.

Now, the movie’s director has been unveiled.

Details below…

The studio announced today that award-winning Liesl Tommy has been appointed director of the hotly anticipated flick.

Set to go into production shortly, ‘Respect’ chronicles the life of Franklin (who died in August) – from singing as a child in her father’s church’s choir to becoming an iconic superstar and civil rights activist.

Critically acclaimed, Tommy is notable for being at the helm of theatre offerings such as ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Les Misérables.’ In the movie sphere, she recently signed on to direct Born A Crime’a biopic based on Trevor Noah‘s book of the same name.

She’s also the first Black woman to be nominated for Best Director at the prestigious Tony Awards.

Speaking on the gig, Tommy said in a statement:

“The story of Aretha Franklin’s journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova is rife with struggle and triumph, making her life one of the great American stories of all time. As a filmmaker there is no greater gift than to be able to bring this transcendent chronicle of a woman’s fight for self-realization to visual life with the enormous talents of the soulful Jennifer Hudson, Callie Khouri, and our incredible producers.”

Hudson, who was handpicked by Franklin for the role, added:

“It is an absolute honor to be a part of bringing Ms. Franklin’s story to audiences who adore her around the world. She is one of the most iconic and talented artists of all time and what a dream come true it is to portray her extraordinary life on screen. I could not be more excited to be working alongside Liesl Tommy, a brilliant and thoughtful director, who is no doubt the perfect choice to lead the film.”

Musically, the project will also benefit from the talents of Grammy winning producer Harvey Mason Jr, who has worked with both Franklin and Hudson in the past.  Meanwhile, ‘Nashville’ creator Callie Khouri has been tapped to write the script.


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  1. Brent Christopher January 10, 2019

    Jennifer Hudson is NO ACTRESS & never has been while. While she has the voice & voice ONLY to carry the musical aspect of the film, she does not have the theatrical chops to pull off such a dramatic feat. This role is way beyond her scope. And she definitely needs a vocal coach to control all of her unnecessary screaming, screec

    • Brent Christopher January 10, 2019

      screeching & howling while delivering Aretha’s classic, soulful songs.

    • Kurz January 10, 2019

      Aretha wanted her for the movie for many years and Aretha endorsed her
      So listen to Aretha!

    • DanYiel Iman January 10, 2019

      I agree ☝?, I’ll view the movie to see what it’s sboit for sure, on Netflix or Hulu??‍♂️

    • Seth January 10, 2019

      100% agree. She’s fine in musicals (same with Madonna) but Is no dramatic actress and this is way above her depth. Cher, Diana Ross and Barbra Streisand are the only divas that make excellent actresses. Whitney, Janet, Madonna, Beyoncé, Gaga etc etc try it but it’s never transcendent just ok I’d good at best

    • kimmy January 10, 2019

      Jennifer cant control her vocals enough to sing like Aretha! O lrd this looks like a disaster in the making ughhhh! Her voice is like a run away train chile.

  2. pat January 10, 2019

    whew chile…. just skip right over the daddy

  3. thanosoftitan January 10, 2019

    I’m looking forward to seeing Jennifer Hudson’s portrayal of Aretha Franklin!

    Aretha personally selected Jennifer Hudson for the role. That is all.

    • Brent Christopher January 10, 2019

      Aretha chose her for the voice & stature, only.
      Aretha did not select Jennifer for her less than stellar “acting” talent. Jennifer is HORRIBLE!

  4. HattieMae January 10, 2019

    How is it moving along so quickly and the script has not even been written..

  5. BYISI January 10, 2019

    This will be a fluff piece just like her autobiographies! I hope I’m wrong but I just know it will be. If it doesn’t touch on or explain the following then it may as well be a lifetime move!
    -Her mother leaving her father for knocking up a 12 year old who attended his church.
    -Her pregnancies at such an early age
    -Her father being a coked out, womanizing, orgy having pig.
    -What really happened to her mother.
    – The true nature of relationship with Sam Cooke
    -Her first violent marriage to a pimp, Ted White.
    – The time she cursed out Mahalia Jackson because she wouldn’t give her father a character reference, when he was on trial for drug possession as a pastor. Then had the nerve to sing at her funeral.
    – Why she seemed to hate other female artist.
    -Her years in waiting at Columbia Records.
    -How the beef started with Patti Labelle.

    None of those and it’ll be a bore!

  6. Johny5 January 11, 2019

    This blog is shady sometimes. Why didn’t you refer to her as “Academy Award winning actress hennifer Hudson”?

    • Brent Christopher January 11, 2019

      because she was awarded the honor undeservingly. the mainstream were fixated on her rendition of AND IM TELLING YOU. no one was honestly speaking about the actual dramatic performance. she does not deserve to be known as an Academy Award Winner. PERIOD. it’s well agreed upon by the public.

  7. Ummm…what? January 11, 2019

    There are some pressed and stupid b****hes on here. Jennifer Hudson has an Oscar and can sing her tail off. That’s all. What you have done with YOUR life where you think your opinion on her playing this role means anything? Stay pressed.She doesn’t need your approval and she is no dramatic actress while she has an Oscar, Golden GLobe, SAG and BAFTA award? You sound stupid and are clearly hating. Probably just Beyonce stans who are still mad that she wasn’t good enough to get an Oscar. Next.

  8. sfdfdf January 12, 2019

    there not even using Jennifer Hudson voice for this movie it will be all Aretha’s

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