The world is currently mourning the loss of legendary singer Aretha Franklin.
A few years back, Franklin had been trying to get a biopic made herself, with Halle Berry as her No. 1 choice to star, followed by Jennifer Hudson and Audra McDonald — though Berry was not interested because she couldn’t do it justice (and Franklin even begged for her to reconsider). Nia Long and Kerry Washington were also named in conversations before.
This January, it was reported that a Franklin biopic was in development starring Jennifer Hudson, who Franklin had reportedly hand-picked. MGM was said to be in talks to acquire the rights.
Aside from this, 3 summers ago, Franklin revealed publicly that she’d met with Lifetime channel executives in New York, to discuss the biopic, of course prior to the announcement of the MGM/Hudson film. She didn’t share what came of her meeting with Lifetime at the time, other than to say that they were “very, very close to signatures.”
This was not surprising, given the network’s recent interest in biopics based on the lives of black public figures. Clearly the network was interested, (and has likely found much success) in targeting black audiences with its original movies.
Since January, there have been no status updates on the possible Hudson-starrer at MGM.
Now that she’s passed, a project on Aretha Franklin in any aspect will probably be of interest to a major studio or even a network as a miniseries, and for sure, she will more than likely get the documentary treatment soon.