MGM, United Artists and BRON have revealed new images from the upcoming film Respect, starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson as the legendary singer Aretha Franklin.
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. The film co-stars Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Kimberly Scott, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Academy Award nominee Mary J. Blige.
Director Liesl Tommy makes her feature film debut with Respect. Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for Eclipsed, and is an Associate Artist at the Berkeley Rep and an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees.
“My dream for the film — and for Aretha and her legacy — was to create a piece of cinema that feels like a classic you have to see in a movie theater. You have to see it on a big screen because her life was so big it deserved that,” said Tommy.
Respect comes from a story by Callie Khouri (Oscar winner for Original Screenplay, Thelma & Louise) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play The Good Negro written by Wilson, directed by Tommy at The Public Theatre. Wilson was a writer on FX’s The Americans which garnered her a Peabody Award as well as Emmy and WGA Award nominations.
It is produced by Harvey Mason Jr., Scott Bernstein, p.g.a., Jonathan Glickman, and Stacey Sher and executive produced by Jennifer Hudson, Liesl Tommy, Sue Baden-Powell, Aaron L. Gilbert and Jason Cloth.
MGM/UA will release Respect on August 13, 2021.
Photos: Quantrell D. Colbert/MGM