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WATCH: ‘Respect’ Trailer Shows Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin

The United Artist film is scheduled to drop in theaters on Christmas Day…

respect trailer

The film year is still an unknown entity but the studio machines rage on in building excitement for their upcoming features. That’s the case with United Artists’ drop of the new teaser for “Respect,” the Aretha Franklin biopic.

Starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls“) as the Grammy-winning singer, the film is directed by Liesl Tommy in her feature film debut. Tommy rose to fame becoming the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for “Eclipsed.”

With a story by Oscar-winner Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise“) and Tracey Scott Wilson, the film could be prime Oscar-bait for the upcoming awards season, which has been extended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the latest awards predictions for the Academy Awards, Hudson is ranked #7 in the Best Actress charts, sitting behind Amy Adams’ upcoming role in Ron Howard’s “Hillbilly Elegy.” Hudson won an Oscar in 2006 for her role as Effie White in Bill Condon’s “Dreamgirls,” plowing through the awards season and winning trophies at the Golden Globes and SAG ceremonies.

Since then, Hudson has had roles in “Black Nativity,” “Chi-Raq,” and most recently “Cats.” She also won a Grammy in 2008 for Best R&B Album for her self-titled debut and then won another in 2017 for Best Musical Theatre Album for “The Color Purple.”

“Respect” currently sits in the #28 spot in Best Picture while director Tommy stands at #30 in Best Director. The screenplay, classified in Original, stands at #27 just ahead of the Sundance hit “I Carry You With Me.”

The rest of the movie’s cast is sprinkled throughout the prediction charts as well. Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland“) is marked at #19 while Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound“) lands at #22. Look for co-star Audra McDonald to debut on the next chart update in her role as Barbara Franklin, Aretha’s mother.

Check out the trailer and the synopsis down below:

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
Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington
DIRECTOR: Liesl Tommy
SCREENPLAY BY: Tracey Scott Wilson
STORY BY: Callie Khouri and Tracey Scott Wilson
PRODUCERS: Scott Bernstein p.g.a., Harvey Mason Jr., Jonathan Glickman
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Stacy Sher, Jennifer Hudson, Sue Baden-Powell, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth
CAST: Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige
Instagram: @RespectMovie
Twitter: @RespectMovie
Facebook: @RespectFilm


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.

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Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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