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Jennifer Hudson is Aretha Franklin in the new Respect trailer

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Director Liesl Tommy makes her feature film debut with Respect. Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for Eclipsed, and is an Associate Artist at the Berkeley Rep and an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees.

Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, RESPECT is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.

The film stars Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin, Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Audra McDonald as Barbara Franklin, Tituss Burgess as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, Marc Maron as Jerry Wexler, Kimberly Scott as Mama Franklin, Saycon Sengbloh as Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin, Heather Headley as Clara Ward, Skye Dakota Turner as Young Aretha Franklin, Tate Donovan as John Hammond and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington.

With a story by Callie Khouri (Oscar ® winner for Thelma & Louise) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play The Good Negro written by Wilson, directed by Tommy at The Public Theatre. Wilson was a writer on FX’s The Americans which garnered her a Peabody Award as well as Emmy and WGA Award nominations.

Find out what it means in US cinemas this December and UK cinemas on 22nd January 2021.

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