Jennifer Hudson channels Aretha Franklin in the first teaser trailer for the upcoming biopic of the late Queen of Soul “Respect,” which debuted Sunday during the BET Awards ceremony.
The film, directed by Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy in her feature film debut, follows the rise of Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church choir to her international superstardom.
In addition to Hudson, the film also stars Forest Whitaker as her Baptist minister father C.L. Franklin, Audra McDonald as her mother, Barbara Franklin, Marlon Wayans as her first husband, Ted White, Marc Maron as music producer Jerry Wexler, Tituss Burgess as gospel music legend James Cleveland, Saycon Sengbloh as sister Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin, Heather Headley as gospel singer Clara Ward, Skye Dakota Turner as young Aretha, Tate Donovan as record producer John Hammond and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington.
Tracey Scott Wilson wrote the screenplay from a story by Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”) and Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play “The Good Negro” written by Wilson, directed by Tommy at New York City’s Public Theater. Wilson was a writer on FX’s “The Americans,” which garnered her a Peabody Award, as well as Emmy and WGA Award nominations.
MGM aims to release “Respect” in theaters in December for awards consideration.
Watch the teaser trailer above.