The official trailer for Respect is finally here and we’re on the edge of our seats as we slowly approach its August 13 release date. Starring Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin, Respect follows the life and times of the reigning queen of soul. From her days as a child singing in her father’s church to her international superstardom and her “Respect” hit’s single phenomena, the biopic is a visual account that shows Franklin’s growth as an artist and a woman while she finds her voice in the music industry and the world as a Black woman.
Joining Hudson as Franklin will be Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington. In the nearly two-and-a-half-minute video, Hudson’s voice is heard covering some of Franklin’s greatest hits including “Think” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc., watch the full trailer below:
Respect will be directed by Liesl Tommy, making this her feature film debut. Moreover, Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony Award® for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for Eclipsed. The story was written by Oscar® winner Callie Khouri (Writing, Thelma & Louise) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Hudson and Tommy also serve as executive producers alongside Sue Baden-Powell, Aaron L. Gilbert, and Jason Cloth.
Hudson was hand-selected by Franklin, as reported by the Detroit Free Press, and the two first met in New York shortly following Hudson’s 2006 Dreamgirls success. “I just sit back and think about how of a blueprint she’s been in my life and career,” said Hudson via Detroit Free Press. “You don’t just wake up one day and think you’re going to be Aretha.”
Respect will be available only in theatres on August 13, 2021.