Jennifer Hudson to play Aretha Franklin in new biopic

Jennifer Hudson attends the Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala on Saturday. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

Jan. 29 (UPI) — Jennifer Hudson will play the Queen of Soul, singer Aretha Franklin, in a new biopic.

Clive Davis announced Saturday at his pre-Grammy gala that Franklin, 75, handpicked the “Dreamgirls” star to portray her in the forthcoming film, according to Deadline.

Hudson, 36, performed Franklin’s songs “Think” and “Respect” at the bash. Her medley followed performances from Barry Manilow, Luis Fonsi, Ben Platt, Alicia Keys, Khalid and Logic.

“And this guys ……. I don’t even know what to say …. look at God!” she said of the news in an Instagram post. “#Arethafranklin u have no idea how humbled, I am!”

Entertainment Weekly confirmed MGM has acquired the rights to the biopic. “Straight Outta Compton” producer Scott Berstein and “Dreamgirls” music arranger Harvey Mason will produce the film.

The new movie is reportedly based on Franklin’s memoir, “Aretha: From These Roots.” The singer told People in 2016 that she had spoken to the actress who will play her in the film, although she didn’t share the person’s name.

“I’m not going to say who I chose, but I’ve talked to her and she’s ready and I’m happy with her,” she said.


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