Respect is on the move again. The Aretha Franklin biopic has moved from January 2021.

Instead of being released on January 15, 2021, it will bow on August 13. This means it will be released after the 2021 Academy Awards and will instead be eligible for the 2020 ceremony. Earlier this summer, the film moved from Christmas 2020 to MLK Weekend 2021.

As the very first authorized feature film based on Franklin’s life, it will be directed by Liesl Tommy and is written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Respect‘s all-star cast also includes Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Tate Donovan and Skye Dakota Turner. Hudson was handpicked to star by Franklin before her death.

Whitaker stars as Reverend C.L. Franklin. Known as the man with the “Million-Dollar Voice,” Franklin served as the pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Franklin was also the father of the American singer and songwriter Aretha Franklin and her manager early in her career.  Wayans stars as Ted White, Aretha’s first husband.  McDonald stars as Barbara Franklin, Aretha’s mother. Sengbloh stars as Erma Franklin, Aretha’s eldest sister. Kilgore stars as Carolyn Franklin, Aretha’s younger sister. Picked from a nationwide search, young Aretha Franklin will be played by Turner. Blige stars as famed recording artist Dinah Washington. Headley will play Clara Ward, the famed gospel artist and leader of The Famous Ward Singers. Burgess  stars as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, who was known as the “King of Gospel.” Maron stars as legendary Atlantic Records music producer Jerry Wexler.  Donovan stars as John Hammond, Columbia Records’ influential music producer.

The songs that will be exclusively featured in the film include Respect; I Say A Little Prayer; Think; (You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman; You’ve Got A Friend; Dr. Feelgood; Do Right Woman, Do Right Man; Spanish Harlem; and Young, Gifted and Black. The film will also feature Ain’t No Way; Precious Lord; There’s A Fountain Filled With Blood; Amazing Grace; and Chain of Fools.


Photo: MGM