Aretha Franklin, Biopic, News, Music News

Aretha Franklin Biopic Recruits Award-Winning Director & Screenwriter

The Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson now has a director and writer. MGM announced that Liesl Tommy, an award-winning stage director, will serve as director alongside screenwriter Callie Khouri on the biopic entitled Respect.

“As a filmmaker there is no greater gift than to be able to bring this transcendent chronicle of a woman’s fight for self-realization to visual life with the enormous talents of the soulful Jennifer Hudson, Callie Khouri, and our incredible producers,” Tommy said in a statement.

Liesl Tommy has directed episodes of The Walking Dead and Insecure and Callie Khouri was the screenwriter on the Oscar-winning film Thelma & Louise. Respect will be produced by Straight Outta Compton producer Scott Bernstein and Grammy-nominated music producer Harvey Mason Jr. There currently is no estimated release date for Respect.

“Over the years and in our many meetings and countless conversations with Aretha, we came to understand the stories she most wanted to share and the moments in her life that made her who she was. It was an honor to have gotten that insight directly from Ms. Franklin and we are now taking the utmost care in upholding her legacy. We are thrilled that Jennifer, Ms. Franklin’s first choice, will be portraying her as we bring this inspirational and legendary life story on the big screen as she wanted,” the producers added.

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Article image: Aretha Franklin performing during "The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House" in the East Room of the White House on April 14, 2015. (The White House [Available through Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons.)

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About Michelle Ruoff

  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania