Jennifer Hudson Demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T In First-Look Aretha Franklin Biopic Footage

Jennifer Hudson commands r-e-s-p-e-c-t in this first-look footage of the singer/actress in character as Aretha Franklin for MGM’s upcoming biopic Respect.

In the brief teaser, Hudson-as Franklin, in glittery gold gown, is shown backlit on stage as those first instantly recognizable words – ‘What you want baby I got it” – tear through the empty auditorium. Though only 44 seconds long, the clip suggests that Hudson does a very fine Aretha impression while infusing at least a little of her own singing style into the interpretation.

The feature film (not to be confused with Nat Geo’s upcoming Genius: Aretha series starring Cynthia Erivo) follows the rise of Franklin’s career from singing as a child in her father’s church’s choir to international superstardom.

Directing will be Liesl Tommy, with a script by Tracey Scott Wilson. Producing are Scott Bernstein, Harvey Mason Jr., with exec producers Stacy Sher, Sue Baden-Powell, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth.

In addition to Hudson, the Respect cast includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, and Mary J. Blige.

MGM releases Respect to theaters on Oct. 9, 2020. Check out the new teaser above, and the film’s new poster below.