Hudson was handpicked for the role by the late Queen of Soul.
Though it was announced well before the singer’s death, MGM greenlit the film roughly a year ago, when the late Queen of Soul handpicked Jennifer Hudson for the starring role. Respect will focus on Franklin’s uncommonly rapid ascent from child singer in her father’s church choir to bonafide soul icon. Callie Khouri (Thelma & Louise and Nashville,) will write the screenplay, while Scott Bernstein (Straight Outta Compton and Ride Along 2,) and Harvey Mason Jr. (an r&b producer who’s worked with both Franklin and Hudson,) are set to produce.
Respect is the second Franklin-based film project to arrive since the singer’s death. On April 5th, the previously-shelved 1972 concert film, Amazing Grace, will finally see a limited release after premiering at the DOC NYC Festival late last year.