MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, just rounded out its cast with some HUGE names. According to Deadline, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and Mary J. Blige are set to join the film. Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, and Tate Donovan were also announced as part of the new additions. The new cast members join Jennifer Hudson, who was previously announced to be starring in the film.
Liesl Tommy, the film’s director released a statement regarding the casting news: “I am thrilled with the incredibly talented cast we have assembled for our film, and I’m so proud that Ms. Franklin entrusted us to tell her story and to share it with the world. As a storyteller, hers is the kind of story we all dream of telling. Her music has inspired me since I was a little girl, and the milestones of her life and career have shown us all how to strive and thrive. To have this powerhouse group of actors – and the phenomenal talent of Jennifer Hudson in this iconic role – means we have the chance of making this film as transcendent as her glorious life and legacy.”
Written by Tracey Scott Wilson, the film will follow Franklin from a young age when she was singing in her father’s church choir and throughout her career as one of the most influential and popular musicians of all-time. Skye Dakota Turner was also announced to be portraying a young Franklin. Production on the film is scheduled to begin in just a few weeks on November 1st.
Respect is slated to release on August 14th, 2020.