The footage starts off with a young Franklin sitting with her mother alongside a piano. “Singing is sacred and you shouldn’t do it just because someone wants you to,” her mother says. “What's most important is that you are treated with dignity and respect.” The remainder of the clip follows Franklin’s trying journey to becoming a pop sensation.
In addition to Hudson, the superstar cast also includes Forest Whitaker as Aretha’s father C.L. Franklin, Audra McDonald as her mother Barbara, Marlon Wayans as her first husband Ted White and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington (a jazz singer often cited as the most popular black female recording artist of the ‘50s and a big influence on Aretha Franklin), just to name a few.
It’s also important to note that the pop icon herself had been heavily involved in the creation of the film until her death in 2018 (yes, that’s how long the flick has been in the works). In fact, Franklin was the one who suggested Hudson portray her.
While the biopic was originally supposed to hit theaters in December 2020, the release date has been pushed back (due to COVID-19) to August 13, 2021. And all we have to say is...Finally.
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