Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, & Marlon Wayans Round Out Cast of Jennifer Hudson-Led Aretha Franklin Biopic

Published: Sunday 20th Oct 2019 by Rashad

With critically acclaimed acting performances in television and film roles (the latter leading to Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations), Grammy-winning diva Mary J. Blige has proven time and time again her talents aren’t limited to music.

Now, reports have it the Queen of Hip Hop Soul will be using those acting chops to salute her longtime idol, Aretha Franklin, in the late icon’s forthcoming MGM-produced biopic.  Toplined by Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson, the entertainment studio’s sent anticipation for the film into overdrive by announcing its full cast which includes the likes of Blige, comedian Marlon Wayans, veteran actor Forest Whitaker, and many more familiar names.

Look inside for more:

Source: Getty Images/Shutterstock/FilmMagic

Deadline reports:

Joining Hudson in the Liesl Tommy-directed movie is Forest Whitaker; Marlon Wayans; Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winner Audra McDonald; Multiple Grammy winning, and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominee Mary J. Blige; Marc Maron; Emmy-nominee Tituss Burgess; Tony-nominee  Saycon Sengbloh; Tony-nominee Hailey Kilgore, and Tate Donovan.

Emmy-nominee Tracey Scott Wilson (The Americans, Fosse / Verdon) penned the script.

the role of young Aretha Franklin will be played by Skye Dakota Turner (Broadway’s Young Anna Mae in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical). 


August 14, 2020 is the film’s premiere date.

[main photo source: Getty Images/FilmMagic/Shutterstock]

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  1. ? Jasmine’s Grape Juice ? ? October 20, 2019

    I dont think Jennifer Hudson is the right person to play Aretha but that is just my opinion. There is a certain energy and divaness Aretha exuded throughout her career and i hope Jennifer can showcase that. Aretha went through a lot…from racism and oppression to her father’s sexxual abuse to cheating druggy husbands and downlow gay husbands (Glynn Turman) to body shaming to cigarette addiction to comeback after comeback. I hope this movie does her justice!

    • Jeans October 21, 2019

      I totally agree. There is so much to work with playing Aretha, from the marriages, cigarettes, etc, I hope Jennifer can pull it off. I wish they chose and unknown. And I hope Marlon isn’t his goofy self in the movie. He is so annoying at times lol

      • Boss Up October 21, 2019

        Well Aretha personally chose JHUD, so if she believes she can pull it off then hey what else is there to say! ??‍♂️will definitely be a challenge for her but I’m rooting for her.

  2. Dc October 21, 2019

    Can’t wait ??????

  3. Yolanda October 21, 2019

    Pitiful. What biopic has ever had an all-star cast? A biopic should make a breakout star not consist of stars.

    • King Khia October 21, 2019

      Breakout like your ānal STĪ bumps???

  4. Mr RCW October 21, 2019

    All hail the Queen!!!

  5. DeanD October 21, 2019

    That’s a stronger cast than I thought they were going to pull together for this film. Especially since they just announced a competing bio pic limited series with Cynthia Erick as Aretha. I hope Mary and Audra get to sing on the soundtrack! But honestly I’m looking more forward to Cynthia’s performance and singing than Jennifer Foghorn Hudson.

    • DeanD October 21, 2019


  6. Deon pinder October 21, 2019

    It seems as if cynthia erivio is snatching all of Fantasia’s roles, they still holding Fantasia’s personal life against her, they are really trying to erase fantasia off the map musically and acting wise, because cynthia just signed a record deal as well

    • Dc October 21, 2019

      Ummmm when was Fantasia an actress to have any roles taken from her ??

      • Deon pinder October 21, 2019

        Fantasia has been going up for the same roles as cynthia and lost every role

  7. Anne October 21, 2019

    I’m pulling for JH but I’m skeptical. Dreamgirls was a musical and didn’t require the depth of skills that she will need to successfully pull this off if the script is as meaty as it should be. I also hate the fact that she will probably sing instead of lip syncing. Sure she’s a great vocalist, but I don’t want to hear anyone’s voice on Aretha’s songs except Aretha’s. If JH sings as I assume she will it will no doubt ruin the music for me. I’ll give it a shot, but my expectations are not that high.

  8. Donnyci October 21, 2019

    I hope JHUD doesn’t sing like she was on a ring ready for boxing…

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