First Look: Jennifer Hudson Transforms Into Aretha Franklin for Queen of Soul’s Biopic [Photos]

Published: Friday 8th Nov 2019 by Rashad

All roads lead to August 14 for award-winning singer/actress Jennifer Hudson as the diva prepares to unveil what may be the acting performance of a lifetime by bringing the story of one of her idols – the late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin – to life via a highly anticipated big screen biopic.

Leading a star-studded cast that features the likes of Queen of Hip Hop Soul Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and many more (as we reported here), Franklin fans wary about Hudson’s ability to pull off the major role will have at least half of their fears eased when they cop a gander at the 38-year-old’s transformation for the project.

As we anxiously await our first views of her acting performance, one thing’s for sure:  she’s got the look down!  See video and photo highlights inside:

Courtesy of DailyMail:


[main photo source: Photo by Alessio Botticelli/GC Images]


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  1. Clarkson November 8, 2019

    Jennifer Hudson doesnt know how to act.
    Being sassy and obnoxious is not acting

    She’s gonna scream the songs.

    Jesus christ, I’m already imagining how Jennifer is gonna sound singing respect or freedom.
    She’s gonna scream the lyrics. My ears

    • G-bby November 8, 2019

      While Jennifer can blow, I never understood the Aretha comparisons. Her voice doesn’t possess the beautiful qualities that Aretha’s did. She doesn’t even resemble Aretha in the slightest. Aretha wasn’t all about belting. Her tone alone was a national treasure. We will just have to see how this plays out because in the end, Aretha did handpick her.

    • Tyty November 8, 2019

      For once I agree 100% correct she just screeches and definitely can’t act she looks like herself with different era clothes nothing like Aretha ?

      • Clarkson November 8, 2019

        They should have casted Camilla for this. She is a very talented actress and vocalist and would have slayed this role with some brown makeup on.

    • OOPS November 9, 2019

      SHE HAS 50+ AWARDS FOR HER SCREEN DEBUT THAT SAYS YOU ARE A LIAR AND YOUR B*** STANK – Do something besides criticizing someone who does it better than you

  2. War November 8, 2019

    I, liked her role in Dream Girls..I, believe she can pull this off…Blessing..Jennifer

  3. The Truth November 8, 2019

    Wow, she REALLY transformed here. I can’t even recognize her as Jennifer Hudson.

    (Y’all see what I did there! It’s called Sarcasm — The girl looks the EXACT SAME, ROLF)

    • You Tried November 8, 2019

      Well Aretha chose her sooo

      • Tori November 8, 2019

        Aretha also wanted Halle Berry to play her for years, then she asked Karen Clark Sheard to play her in her earlier days, that woman was 60 at the time. She also wanted Denzel Washington to play her father. She settled on Jennifer before she died because people always compared the two for some odd reason. Aretha didn’t know what the hell she wanted, at one point she didn’t even want the movie to come out.

      • ? Jasmine’s Grape Juice ? ? November 8, 2019

        I agree with Tori. So what if Aretha chose her. Aretha is no seasoned casting director! Aretha thought she looked like Halle Berry and wanted Halle originally till Halle said no.

  4. ? The Real Jasmine’s Grape Juice ?? November 8, 2019

    CardiB should have gotten the role because she likes to say N word

  5. DeanD November 8, 2019

    I hope this is successful for everyone involved but JHud was not the right casting for this, UNLESS she lip synchs. Otherwise, the hollering! Just look at her performance of Never Loved A Man on that Aretha tribute. It’s some of Jennifer’s best screaming but it’s screaming all the same. And Aretha in all her plumage was not impressed. And I don’t think Aretha so much chose Jennifer, (especially after Halle turned down the role) more that she settled for JHud. And I bet Clive was all up in that process. Still, we’ll see…

  6. stan November 8, 2019

    her acting hasn’t improved much… i feel like she’s always playing a singer.

  7. Tori November 8, 2019

    This is a mess, I feel the same way about this as the “Harriet” movie; we asked for this but you’re not delivering! This movie is a cash grab, hell, it was announced 2 weeks after the woman damn funeral. This is the main problem Aretha has when she tried to put the movie out for 20 years, too many people only looking at how much money can be made but know one looking at the actual facts. JENNIFER HUDSON SOUNDS NOTHING LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN! Even during tributes, Pattie LaBelle have a better tribute than Jennifer. She put her own styling to “Ain’t No Way” while still tributing Aretha. Jennifer got her pork belly a** up on stage and screamed for 3 minutes. Her technique is trash, she releases all the air she takes in trying to create a strong note but it comes out too harsh and loud, half the time she sounds like she straining. Aretha released air as well but she had a great technique for mixing her vocals. Her tone had a beautiful, signature color to it. Jennifer tone reminds me of Jennifer Holiday, too damn much.

    • Clarkson November 8, 2019

      Cynthia erivo was praised in harriet.
      The movie was mediocre biopic but cynthia erivo was praised heavily and she may get an oscar nomination for best actress. I doubt it tho
      The movie is also making money at the box office.

      • Jamon_84 November 8, 2019

        She slayed the role of Harriet. It was Oscar worthy.

    • Boss Up November 8, 2019

      Actually, this movie has been in the works for a couple years now. Aretha had been in meetings(up until some days before her passing)with the producers from MGM, Scott Bernstein, and Harvey Mason Jr pretty much carving out her story, sharing the experiences she endured that she wanted to be known. Aretha is ALL over this project. Clive has nothing to do with this film. However, he is a producer for the upcoming Aretha Genius tv series that will show on National Geographic. Aretha had been meeting with Jennifer since her Oscar win for Dreamgirls, discussing the role. She finally confirmed to Jennifer in early 2016. So, this has all been based upon Aretha’s wishes. Exactly why it will be the Only official/ authorized biopic. I see it like this: If The Queen thinks JHUD can handle it, I’m all here for it. Btw, the pics are promising. She looks beautiful as young Aretha ???????

      • Clarkson November 8, 2019

        Elton John wanted justin Timberlake to play him in a biopic.

        Elton John is ugly, short and fat while justin Timberlake is tall, slim and good looking.

        These legends are not casting directors.

        There are so many talented Broadway actresses who would have done this role justice.

        Jennifer Hudson playing Aretha is so predictable and boring.
        Jennifer is gonna over act and over sing (SHOUT) in this movie.

  8. Pat November 8, 2019

    I’d rather a talented unknown kipping Aretha Aretha io calz

  9. Suxmycockiness ? November 8, 2019

    It should be Jazmine Sullivan playing Aretha. That girl can SANG!

    • Tori November 8, 2019

      Never thought of that but DAMN! Her voice is a tad bit more raspy and lighter yet her tone is darker for 70’s Aretha but the girl could do an 80’s Aretha spot on. She would’ve been perfect, she also has that shy coyness that Aretha carried during 1950- very early 80’s. Jennifer is going to give Effie White again.

  10. Boss Up November 9, 2019

    Jennifer is going to suprise all the naysayers with this performance. She’s quietly been in prep mode these last 10 months, taking piano lessons, working with an acting coach, and vocal coach to bring Aretha back to life for this soon to be iconic film. Let’s have a little more faith my loves ?

  11. YaBoiTweety November 10, 2019

    *Sigh* U n***** never satisfied. SMH. Never mind all the hard work & dedication put into the project or the fact that Aretha wasn’t a good actress herself. Or that folks compared the two because the same s*** they say about JHud they said about Aretha. Reading these comments is like listening to holier then tho christians – annoying & hypocritical AF. I’ll be the first to say THANK U The Grape Juice for the update. I appreciate this article because it’s news & visuals like this that may catch my attention to support this Black film… something U n***** fail to do every time… yet U never need to be reminded to criticize or break it down. #Tssss

  12. Gerald December 10, 2019

    I think Jennifer will do a fine job. She was excellent in “Dream Girls”. Though this will be a daunting task for anybody, I believe that she will more than adequately cover the spot. I very much look forward to hearing her offering.

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