Cats has crashed and burned. That much is obvious. It’s a furry trainwreck. It probably explains why, to coincide with the Cats premiere, MGM decided to release a powerful and sparkly teaser for the new Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson (who is also in Cats and sings the iconic song “Memory”).
The teaser clocks in at a short 45 seconds, but it’s Hudson’s time to shine as she sings the famous song “Respect” that Franklin released in 1967. Hudson, who’s wearing a sparkly gold dress that is both modern and inexplicably seventies at the same time, hits all the notes. She also embodies the beautiful and talented Franklin who, sadly, died in 2018 from pancreatic cancer.
The Queen of Soul handpicked Hudson in 2007 after she won an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls.
In an interview with People, she said, “Those are huge shoes to fill. I am just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. All I want to do is pay tribute to her and meet her requests, you know? Like, ‘Aretha said do this?’ — ‘Yes, ma’am.’”
Liesel Tommy directs the film, which will be released in late 2020.
It also stars Forest Whitaker, Marlon Waynes, Mary J. Blige, and Audra McDonald. Whitaker is set to play Franklin’s father, a Baptist minister and who was unfaithful to his wife. Wayans will play Ted White, Franklin’s first husband, whom she married when she was 19 and who was abusive. McDonald will play Franklin’s mother. Callie Khouri wrote the script for the movie that follows Franklin’s rise to fame as a child singing in her father’s choir to global fame as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.
According to THR, Respect will feature the 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.”
Check out the brief trailer below and be prepared for a full trailer, no doubt, coming soon.
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