Deadline is exclusively reporting that Aretha Franklin handpicked Jennifer Hudson to play her in the biopic being produced by MGM. This was announced at Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party, where Hudson sang a few Franklin songs after the highly-anticipated announcement. Producing the Aretha Franklin biopic film will be Straight Outta Compton‘s Scott Bernstein and music producer Harvey Mason Jr. MGM will move quickly to set a filmmaker and a screenwriter.
Davis tonight introduced Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson to sing a couple songs, and then told the audience that Hudson will be playing Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic about the life of the Queen of Soul. Hudson was in fact hand picked by Franklin to play the role. It was appropriate that Davis introduce all this, since he has such a long professional relationship with Franklin. Hudson sang Franklin classics Think, and Respect as part of her performance.
This wouldn’t be Jennifer Hudson’s first foray into acting obviously. As an actress, she made her film debut portraying Effie White in Dreamgirls, for which she gained worldwide acclaim and won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress. She also appeared in the Sex and the City film, The Secret Life of Bees and Black Nativity. She has made numerous television appearances, including guest roles on Smash, Empire and Inside Amy Schumer. In 2015, she made her Broadway debut in the role of Shug Avery in the revival of The Color Purple.
Her latest film Monster, is a 2018 American drama film directed by Anthony Mandler. It is based on the novel of the same name by Walter Dean Myers. It was screened in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival.