MGM pushes Aretha Franklin biopic Respect for awards season release
With many studios currently re-arranging their release schedules due to unfortunate circumstances, MGM has decided to push back the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic Respect starring Jennifer Hudson from its October 9 date to a Christmas debut in time for awards season, according to Deadline. The film began shooting in November and is shifting due to positive early buzz. It will be released domestically via United Artists for a limited December 25 release, followed by an expansion on January 8 before going wide January 15.
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Respect will follow the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom. The film is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to finding her voice. Marking the first authorized feature film based on Franklin’s life, the movie directed by Tony-nominee Liesl Tommy (Broadway’s Eclipsed) and is written by Emmy-nominee Tracey Scott Wilson (The Americans, Fosse/Verdon).
Hudson, who was personally hand-picked by Franklin to play her in the film, is joined by Forest Whitaker as Reverand C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Siggers Franklin, Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington, Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler, Tituss Burgess as James Cleveland, Saycon Sengbloh as Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin, Tate Donovan as John Hammond, and Skye Dakota Turner.
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The producers are Scott Bernstein (Straight Outta Compton) and multiple Grammy-nominated producer Harvey Mason Jr.(Dreamgirls), who has produced music for both Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson. The movie will be distributed internationally by Universal Pictures International.
Respect will exclusively feature the iconic songs: Respect; I Say A Little Prayer; Think; (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman; You’ve Got A Friend; Dr. Feelgood; Do Right Woman, Do Right Man; Spanish Harlem; and Young, Gifted and Black. The film will also feature Ain’t No Way; Precious Lord; There’s A Fountain Filled With Blood; Amazing Grace; and Chain of Fools.