MGM’S "Respect" Movie Starring Academy Award-Winner Jennifer Hudson As Aretha Franklin Announces Award-Winning Ensemble Cast

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) announced the award-winning ensemble cast joining Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson in the feature film RESPECT, based on the life of music icon Aretha Franklin. The film will feature many of Ms. Franklin's chart-topping songs.

Following the rise of 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 Aretha Franklin's journey to find her voice. 


AFI Fest 2019 Presented by Audi Announces Gala Premiere of The Crown


Hudson, who was personally hand-picked by Franklin to play her in the film, is joined by a stellar cast of stars including Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner Forest Whitaker; Marlon Wayans; Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winner Audra McDonald; Multiple Grammy winning, and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominee Mary J. Blige; Marc Maron; Emmy-nominee Tituss Burgess; Tony-nominee Saycon Sengbloh; Tony-nominee Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, and Skye Dakota Turner. 

The first authorized feature film based on Franklin's life, RESPECT is directed by Tony-nominee Liesl Tommy (Broadway's Eclipsed) and is written by Emmy-nominee Tracey Scott Wilson (The Americans, Fosse / Verdon).  


AFI FEST 2019 Presented by Audi Announces World Cinema and Documentary Sections


Said Tommy, "I am thrilled with the incredibly talented cast we have assembled for our film, and I'm so proud that Ms. Franklin entrusted us to tell her story and to share it with the world. As a storyteller, hers is the kind of story we all dream of telling. Her music has inspired me since I was a little girl, and the milestones of her life and career have shown us all how to strive and thrive.  To have this powerhouse group of actors - and the phenomenal talent of Jennifer Hudson in this iconic role - means we have the chance of making this film as transcendent as her glorious life and legacy."

The producers are Scott Bernstein (Straight Outta Compton) and multiple Grammy nominated producer Harvey Mason Jr.(Dreamgirls), who has produced music for both Aretha Franklin and Jennifer Hudson.

Said Bernstein and Mason Jr., "We were given the rare privilege to work with Ms. Franklin directly to curate the stories she most wanted to share and the moments in her life that made her who she was. Over the years, she imparted to us how important it was to her that we share her story on the big screen and how important it was to have Jennifer in this role. To have that kind of deeply personal trust and insight from Ms. Franklin was nothing short of amazing for everyone involved."

The film will exclusively feature the iconic songs: 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.


World Premiere of Clint Eastwood's Richard Jewell To Bow At AFI Fest 2019 Presented By Audi


The Franklin family will be played by:

Forest Whitaker (Godfather of Harlem) stars as Reverend CL 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 on in her career. Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy-Winner Whitaker is repped by WME and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.

Marlon Wayans (On the Rocks, highly successful Sextuplets, Marlon), stars as Ted White, Aretha's first husband.  He is repped by 3 Arts Entertainment, WME and Lawrence Kopeikin and Kevin Yorn of Morris Yorn.

Audra McDonald—the winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy—stars as Barbara Franklin, Aretha's mother. McDonald is represented by WME.

Saycon Sengbloh (Broadway's Eclipsed, CW's In the Dark, ABC's Scandal) stars as Erma Franklin, Aretha's eldest sister. Stewart Talent and Impression Entertainment rep the Tony-nominee.

Hailey Kilgore (Broadway's Once on This Island, NBC's The Village, Amblin/Apple's Amazing Stories) stars as Carolyn Franklin, Aretha's sister. She is repped by Abrams Artists Agency, One Entertainment and Jackoway Austen Tyerman Wertheimer Mandelbaum Morris Bernstein Trattner & Klein. 

After a worldwide casting search, the role of young Aretha Franklin will be played by Skye Dakota Turner (Broadway's Young Anna Mae in Tina: The Tina Turner Musical). She is repped Sherry Kayne at The Green Room. 

Music legends will be played by:

Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) stars as famed recording artist Dinah Washington. APA reps the multiple Grammy winning, and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominated artist.

Heather Headley (Broadway's Aida) will play Clara Ward, the famed gospel artist and leader of The Famous Ward Sisters. CAA reps the Tony and Grammy-winner.

Tituss Burgess (Dolemite Is My Name, Unbreakable KimmySchmidt) stars as Reverend Dr. James Cleveland, who was known as the "King of Gospel." CAA and Soffer / Namoff Entertainment rep the Emmy-nominee.

Marc Maron (Joker, GLOW, Sword of Trust) stars as legendary Atlantic Records music producer Jerry Wexler. He is repped by ICM Partners, Avalon Management and Granderson Des Rochers.  

Tate Donovan (Rocketman) stars as John Hammond, Columbia Records' influential music producer. He is repped by Gersh and Authentic Talent and Literary Management. 


Sound Unseen Film + Music Festival Announces Lineup For 20th Edition Of The Film Festival


Franklin landed over 100 singles in the Billboard charts, including 17 Top 10 pop singles and 20 No. 1 R&B hits, 18 Grammy Awards, and was the first female to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Her reinvention of Otis Redding's Respect as a feminist anthem transformed her into an icon of the civil rights and women's movements. Her cultural impact was felt throughout her career, from her singing at Dr. Martin Luther King's memorial service to performing at three presidential inaugurations.

The film begins shooting November 1, 2019. From MGM and BRON Creative, RESPECT will be released domestically via UA Releasing on August 14, 2020. The film will be distributed internationally via Universal Pictures International. 

# # #

About Metro Goldwyn Mayer

Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is a leading entertainment company focused on the production and global distribution of film and television content across all platforms. The company owns one of the world's deepest libraries of premium film and television content as well as the premium pay television network EPIX, which is available throughout the U.S. via cable, satellite, telco and digital distributors. In addition, MGM has investments in numerous other television channels, digital platforms and interactive ventures and is producing premium short- form content for distribution. For more information, visitwww.mgm.com.

Haute Tease

  • Estate of Trailblazer and Icon Diahann Carroll To Be Auctioned at Bonhams Los Angeles (Images)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Bonhams will present property from the Estate of Diahann Carroll, award-winning entertainer and courageous trailblazer, on March 10, 2020. The collection includes approximately 150 memorabilia items, furniture, personal items, photos, clothing, shoes, handbags, and jewelry.

     
  • FAQ’s Answered on FDA Approved Non-Surgical Balloon Weight Loss Method

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Americans spend almost 60 billion dollars annually in pursuit of weight loss with gastric bypass surgery the most common; an option that isn’t for everyone. Like any major procedure, gastric bypass has significant health risks and side effects.

     
  • Holiday Gift Guide Review – The Luxe List 2016 Picks (Includes Product Description)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Statistics reveal that nearly half of Americans are planning to use a digital device as a primary means of holiday shopping, and just over 33-percent are planning to brave the crowds and shop in-store, digital mobile consumerism has clearly come of age.

     
  • The Coronavirus Pandemic Exposes Frailties in the Medical Ecosystem

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Coronavirus has been a cruel enemy, invisible, free to invade unchecked, with a strength any general would admire, unabated by traditional military might, the pandemic handicapped the world's economies and challenged every available medical resource.

     
  • Election 2020: ICYMI Sanders Sends Letter to MLB Commissioner- America’s Pastime Hangs in the Balance

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Senator Bernie Sanders sent a letter to Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred calling on the league to reject a proposal from wealthy franchise owners and executives to shutter 42 minor league baseball teams.  

  • Farewell My Concubine: The Beijing Opera

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    To celebrate 35th anniversary of Sino-American diplomatic relations, the Shanghai Municipal Administration of Culture, Radio, Film and Television is presenting a new and innovative film to the United States, part of an exchange and exhibition of Chinese culture.  In conjunction with Dolby Laboratories, the film's director will showcase Farewell My Concubine:  The Beijing Opera before a special industry audience on May 30, 2014 at the Dolby Theatre.

     
  • Rocketman Review – Amazing, Shocking, Real and Raw

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Rocketman, from Paramount Pictures, brings to the screen a fantastical biographical journey of Elton John as he finds himself early and the fated ordained meeting with Bernie Taupin, of one of the most prolific singer-songwriting teams in history.

     
  • COVID-19, Le Nouveau Compagnon De Voyage Français

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Le traitement de la crise du COVID-19 par le président de la République Emmanuel Macron et les gouvernements régionaux suscite à la fois des controverses et des critiques soulevant des questions concernant le drame humain qui a atteint un point d'ébullition.  

  • Spies in Disguise Review - A Fun, High Flying, Espionage Caper

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Spies in Disguise, from 20th Century Fox Films and BlueSky Studios, presents the story of the world's most fearless super-spy who is falsely accused and suddenly left with only one choice as he works to clear his name.

     
  • HL World News: 26 Facts About Guantanamo Bay

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    In the fallout of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the United States entered a new age of warfare. The war on terror presented a nebulous threat with non-state actors and dangerous, asymmetrical warfare.  

  • American Made Movie Review – Re-Born in the USA

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    American Made Movie,” from Life Is My Movie and Variance Films, brings to the screen a call-to-action documentary presenting a plan to return American Made to a position of strength in the global economy.

     
  • Giant Percussion Jazz Sound from UK’s Jack 'Swagger Mac' Featuring Skunkadelic Plus Two From The B Side

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Jack 'Mac' McDougal is a vibrant, energetic musician, band leader, composer and multi-instrumental music teacher. He regularly plays with Jazz ensembles and live bands across the UK. Swagger Mac just hit the charts across the UK.

     
  • Kopi Luwak, By Hermetise, Boosts Rare Feline Excrement as Key Ingredient In Luxury Skin Care System

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Coffee connoisseurs know the most expensive java on earth is Kopi Luwak, what most didn’t know is that it is now a key ingredient in Hermetise’s Kopi Luwak, the skin care treatment billed the "face lift in a bottle."

     
  • Fashion Week 2014, Trends Past - Rebecca Taylor Spring Collection 2008

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    As NYC Fashion Week begins a look back at trends past beginning with The Rebecca Taylor Spring 2008 Show held when the tents were at Bryant Park after previewing funky fuchsias’ and arresting reds, slinky camisoles and sexy slip tops to standing room only crowd of buyers, trendsetters, fashionistas, publishers and media.

     
  • Second US Journalist Beheaded by Iraqi Terror Group

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Global media is reporting a second U.S. journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, was beheaded by ISIS/ISIL, the Iraqi Terrorist organization in retaliation for the United States' assistance to the Iraqi people placed under siege by the militant group.