American Idol contestant-turned pop/film superstar, Jennifer Hudson will star as the “Queen of Soul” in an upcoming biopic film about Aretha Franklin. According to Deadline, Hudson was shown quite a bit of “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” from the iconic singer, as she was “in fact hand picked by Franklin to play the role.”
The announcement came over the weekend at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys party in New York City. The veteran recording executive revealed the news while also introducing Hudson prior to her short performance at the event, where she'd appropriately go on to sing some of Franklin’s biggest hits including “Think,” and “Respect.” Other performers at the annual celebrity-filled party included Barry Manilow, Luis Fonsi, Alicia Keys and Khalid.
The name of the film, or any other real details on the production of the Franklin biopic have yet to be revealed, aside from longtime Hollywood studio MGM is in the running to finance the project. “Straight Outta Compton” producer Scott Bernstein is reportedly attached to the project, in addition to veteran songwriter and music producer, Harvey Mason Jr., who also worked on Hudson’s 2006 film debut, “Dreamgirls.” Aretha Franklin is also one of the many iconic artists whom Mason has written/produced songs for throughout his careers, in addition to Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake to name a few.
Since becoming a household name in mainstream music thanks to a successful run on the third season of “American Idol,” Hudson has shined on a mix of projects that have taken her from winning an Academy Award, to making her Broadway debut as part of "The Color Purple" revival in 2015. More recently, the singer has made headlines for joining Britain’s version of “The Voice,” and eventually coming onto the U.S. version of the show as a coach for its 13th season this past fall.