Aretha Franklin wanted one woman to play her in a biopic – Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson. In the first full-length trailer for the upcoming film Respect, the Grammy and Oscar winner not only embodies Franklin, she already seems poised for a second Oscar nomination in 2022.
The brand new trailer highlights Franklin’s early childhood with her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin (Forest Whitaker) and relationships with singers of the time such as Dinah Washington (Mary J. Blige). Throughout the trailer, Hudson displays the vocal chops necessary to nail Aretha classics such as “Think,” “A Natural Woman,” and “Respect,” where Franklin and her sisters are seen reworking the Otis Redding single into their own powerful self-identifying anthem.
Marlon Wayans stars as Franklin’s husband-manager Ted White and Marc Maron appears as Atlantic Records producer Jerry Wexler. The film is the second Franklin-related project to be released. In March, Nat Geo released the series Genius with Cynthia Erivo starring as Franklin. Both Genius and Respect were finished in 2020 before the beginning of the pandemic.
“I took some time to really ponder the parts of her life that would really have an impact on audiences,” film director Lisel Tommy said. “When I dove into the things we don’t know about her, what came to me is this should be the story of a young woman with the greatest voice in the world fighting to find her own voice.”
Respect is set to open in theaters on August 13.