Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, and Marlon Wayans Cast in Upcoming Aretha Franklin Biopic

The Aretha Franklin biopic is filling out its ranks.

Mary J. Blige, Forest Whitaker, and Marlon Wayans have joined the cast of the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Blige will portray jazz vocalist Dinah Washington, while Whitaker takes on the role of legendary Pastor C.L. Franklin (Aretha’s father) and Wayans tries his hand at Ted White, the soul icon’s abusive first husband. Additionally, the biopic landed its Jerry Wexler in Marc Maron and a Reverend Dr. James Cleveland in Titus Burgess.

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The new signees join Jennifer Hudson in the lead (reportedly, hand-picked for the role by The Queen of Soul herself.) Due on August 14th, 2020, production on Respect began this month after an open call audition for an actress to portray Franklin as a child. Broadway actress Skye Dakota Turner, was offered the role.

Franklin’s story will also be on small screens in the months ahead. Last month, Cynthia Erivo signed on to portray the singer in Genius Aretha, an upcoming scripted series for National Geographic. That project is expected to premiere in Spring 2020.













Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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