Jennifer Hudson commands, well, you know, as Aretha Franklin in the trailer for Respect

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Jennifer Hudson
Jennifer Hudson

The biopic train never stops running, especially for musicians. From James Brown to Johnny Cash and Ray Charles to Motley Crüe, there’s no shortage of stories of heartache and triumph for Hollywood studios to tell. But thankfully, for the Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, which now has a trailer, the cast is absolutely stacked.

Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson stars as Franklin, with a voice that’s already taking over the room. But the rest of the cast is more than able to fill out any leftover space. Let’s see; we have Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Titus Burgess, Tate Donovan, and Mary J. Blige. Even Marc Maron, fresh off his turn in the David Bowie biopic, managed to get in there. But the main focus is Hudson’s Franklin, which we first got to hear last year at the BET awards.

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First-time film director and Tony Award-winner Liesl Tommy directed Respect off a script by Tracey Scott Wilson, who won a Peabody for her work on The Americans. The movie follows spans Franklin’s career, from the 10-year-old with the voice of a 30-year-old to the Queen of Soul. Does Hudson have the chops? Well, the late Aretha Franklin seemed to think so. In an interview with EW last year, Hudson said that Franklin expects the actor to win a second Oscar in the role. “We met in New York, and one of the first things she said to me was ‘You’re gonna win another Oscar for playing me, right?’ Imagine Aretha Franklin looking you in the face and saying that,” Hudson said. “I was like, ‘Eh, uh, eh…I can try.’” What else are you supposed to say to something like that?

Initially set to come out in December, Respect hits theaters, with all those glorious surround-sound speakers, this August.