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The Trailer For Jennifer Hudson's Aretha Franklin Biopic 'Respect' Is Here And It Looks Insane

The Trailer For Jennifer Hudson's Aretha Franklin Biopic 'Respect' Is Here And It Looks Insane

The official teaser trailer for Jennifer Hudson's Aretha Franklin biopic RESPECT just dropped - and it's as electrifying as the opening bars of its iconic title track.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, and starring Jennifer as the Queen of Soul herself, the movie follows the rise of Aretha's career from a childhood of singing in her father's church's choir to international superstardom.

You can watch the teaser for the movie - which is due to land in US cinemas this December and UK screens in January 2021 - here:

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Detroit-born Aretha carved out a 60-year trailblazing career, lending her richly powerful vocals to chart toppers such as Respect, I Say A Little Prayer and Angel to become one of music's bestselling artists.

We can't think of anyone better than the vocal sensation that is Jennifer - who, let's not forget, scooped an Academy Award for her performance in Dreamgirls - to play the great singer.

As it turns out the gospel star specifically asked that Jennifer play her in the movie, shortly before her death.

How's that for an accolade, eh? We can't say we're surprised, tbh.

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Talking about her conversations with the late singer to As If magazine, Jennifer said: "When I would talk to Aretha I felt I knew exactly what she was talking about.

 Jennifer - who won an Academy Award for her performance in 'Dreamgirls' - will play the great singer (Credit: MGM)
Jennifer - who won an Academy Award for her performance in 'Dreamgirls' - will play the great singer (Credit: MGM)

"When people are that iconic it's easy to forget they had a life and that they are more than just an entertainer...

"In our conversations, she was teaching me more about life than her life."

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The award-winning actress stars alongside a stellar cast featuring Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron and Tituss Burgess.

Other names on the castlist include Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan - and the one and only Mary J. Blige.

The trailer jumps between scenes showing Jennifer - transformed as a sequin-clad, back-combed Aretha - performing her hit single Respect, and moments from her life, including soul-stirring rehearsals and meetings with record industry reps.

The Spotlight singer's has no trouble living up to Aretha's original vocals, which soar dramatically over the teaser.

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The movie follows the rise of Aretha Franklin's career from a childhood of singing in her father's church's choir to international superstardom (Credit: MGM)
The movie follows the rise of Aretha Franklin's career from a childhood of singing in her father's church's choir to international superstardom (Credit: MGM)

MJB plays jazz singer Dinah Washington, who offers Aretha some career advice: "Honey, find the songs that move you. Until you do that, you ain't going nowhere."

Jennifer has clearly fully immersed herself in the role, telling As If magazine:

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"I go to sleep listening to Aretha, and I wake up listening to Aretha. I just want to do her justice and do the best job I possibly can."

We can't wait to head to the cinema for this remarkable true story of one of music's biggest icons.

Featured Image Credit: MGM

Topics: TV and Film, Cinema

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Mary-Jane Wiltsher

Mary-Jane Wiltsher is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist. Elsewhere she writes for Stylist, Euronews, PHOENIX and What We Seee.