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If you’ve been eagerly awaiting more details on the new Aretha Franklin Biopic, Respect, the newly-released official trailer should offer some relief. For the first time since the teaser was debuted at the June 2020 BET awards, we’re getting more insight into the forthcoming film. The nearly three-minute-long trailer depicts Aretha Franklin’s rise to fame, from days spent at the piano as a child to convincing record labels she was capable of greatness, to—of course—demanding some R-E-S-P-E-C-T be put on her name. And after the premiere date for the movie was pushed back twice, the anticipation is stronger than ever. Curious what to expect from the film? Find everything you need to know below.
Talk of an Aretha Franklin biopic has been happening for years.
While the official trailer for Respect (above) was just released, Franklin had talked up the idea of a movie being made about her life for more than a decade. Before her passing in 2018, Franklin famously made a point to handpick Jennifer Hudson to portray her. While the Queen of Soul's goosebump-inducing vocals may be inimitable, this isn't the first time Hudson has performed in the late singer's honor. She sang at Franklin's funeral, CBS’s Aretha! (A Grammy Celebration for the Queen of Soul), and Clive Davis’s tribute to Franklin.
The rest of the cast is stacked, too.
In addition to Hudson, the cast includes Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Mary J. Blige, Marlon Wayans, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, and Tate Donovan.
Respect will be director Liesl Tommy's feature debut.
While the stage and film director's past work includes The Walking Dead and Insecure, Respect will be her first big feature. Tommy was the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play for “Eclipsed” in 2016.
The film will show more than just Franklin's career highlights.
From the new trailer, it's clear that, in addition to spotlighting Franklin's rise to stardom, the MGM biopic will highlight her early life in Detroit, involvement in the civil rights movement, and, in the wise words of the Queen of Soul, her fight for “respect”—in the music industry and beyond.
Respect is set to premiere on August 13, 2021.
Since the first teaser trailer was released, the film's premiere has been pushed back twice. It will officially debut in mid-August of this year.
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