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RESPECT! Liesl Tommy Will Direct Jennifer Hudson in Aretha Franklin Biopic

Drew Shade

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The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, handpicked Jennifer Hudson to play her in a biopic and now according to Deadline Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed, InsecureQueen Sugar) has been picked by MGM to direct the movie entitled Respect. Liesl is the first black woman to earn a Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Play.

Tommy had to say: “The story of Aretha Franklin’s journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova is rife with struggle and triumph, making her life one of the great American stories of all time. As a filmmaker, there is no greater gift than to be able to bring this transcendent chronicle of a woman’s fight for self-realization to visual life with the enormous talents of the soulful Jennifer Hudson, Callie Khouri, and our incredible producers.”

Hudson who made her Broadway debut with the revival of The Color Purple seems like the perfect fit for a film on the late great singer/musician/icon. Respect covers the life of the late Franklin from singing as a child in her father’s church’s choir to becoming an iconic superstar and civil rights activist. The film will track Franklin’s coming of age to icon status, with 20 No. 1 R&B hits, 18 Grammy Awards en route to becoming the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hudson says: “It is an absolute honor to be a part of bringing Ms. Franklin’s story to audiences who adore her around the world. She is one of the most iconic and talented artists of all time, and what a dream come true it is to portray her extraordinary life on screen. I could not be more excited to be working alongside Liesl Tommy, a brilliant and thoughtful director, who is no doubt the perfect choice to lead the film,”

Founder/Editor-In-Chief of BroadwayBlack.com | Actor | Artist | 1/3 of @OffBookPodcast | Theatre connoisseur | All Audra Everything | Caroline over Change | I'm Not Charl Brown | Norm Lewis is my play cousin | Producing an all-black production of Mame starring Jenifer Lewis in my head

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First Look

WATCH: Cynthia Erivo & Leslie Odom Jr. in First Trailer for Harriet

Drew Shade

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Cynthia Erivo as Harriet/YouTube

Cynthia Erivo is Harriet Tubman in the film Harriet set to be released November 1st. She is joined by Broadway star Leslie Odom Jr. as abolitionist William Still, who helped Tubman organize her trips on the Underground Railroad. Music aficionado Janelle Monae also co-stars.

Kasi Lemmons directs the film in which she co-wrote with Gregory Allen Howard. Check out the trailer.

Based on the thrilling and inspirational life of an iconic American freedom fighter, HARRIET tells the extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman’s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes. Her courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

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Breaking News

#CATSMovie Trailer Shows Digital Fur Technology But Distracts Us with Jennifer Hudson’s Voice

Broadway Black

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We watched the rehearsal video and now this… still trying to figure out if this is for real…

We’ll get back to you.

Movie in theatres this Christmas.

In the meantime, check these tweets:

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Twitter: @BroadwayBlack

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