MGM has released a 40-second video teaser of Jennifer Hudson starring in Respect, the biopic of the life of late Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, and it is 40 seconds that will leave you wanting more.
The clip shows Hudson all glammed up in gold, at first in silhouette and then lit by spotlights, singing the first bars of Franklin’s signature song demanding what else? Respect. But as a crescendo builds while she sings the song’s bridge, the clip ends.
“Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice,” reads an email sent to the media.
What sets this biopic apart is that Franklin was said to have picked Hudson to play her before she died at age 76 of pancreatic cancer in August 2018. The cast also includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley and Mary J. Blige.
Earlier this year, the Georgia Film Office reported that Hudson was in that state filming the movie. The Oscar-winning singer performed at the late soul diva’s epic, several-hour funeral.
Before Franklin’s death, music producer Clive Davis announced the biopic in January of 2018 and Franklin’s personal choice for Hudson to star.
Harvey Mason, music producer for the film, has also produced for two other late icons — Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston — as well as for Justin Timberlake.
“My duty is to do something that really honors Aretha and and treats her in the manner I have been accustomed to dealing with her,” Mason told the Detroit Free Press.
Hudson is a good fit for the role, he said.
“They both sing with a lot of emotion; they both sing with a lot of range and power,” Mason said. “There was a lot of discussion about a lot of people but Aretha was adamant that it might be Jennifer.”
Respect is expected in theaters next summer.