Jennifer Hudson celebrates completion of Aretha Franklin biopic

Jennifer Hudson has completed production on her upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic.The Queen of Soul handpicked the Oscar winner to play her in the film before her death at the age of 76 in August 2018, and Jennifer took the role so seriously, she passed …

Jennifer Hudson has completed production on her upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic.

The Queen of Soul handpicked the Oscar winner to play her in the film before her death at the age of 76 in August 2018, and Jennifer took the role so seriously, she passed on a return to U.K. talent show The Voice so she could focus on her performance.

And before she took to the stage at Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game to perform a Kobe Bryant tribute, she confirmed reports that work on Respect had wrapped.

“It is officially a wrap on @respectmovie wrap it up, it’s done!” she wrote on Instagram. “Too overwhelmed to get into it right now but words can’t express how grateful I am to be chosen by the queen herself and to live out yet another dream! It was my honour to honour the Queen’s request!”

Hudson also posted a series of photos from the set of Respect, which is due to hit cinemas in October.

“I have to give credit where credit is due!” the 38-year-old captioned one shot of the cast and crew. “To every single cast and crew member who put your heart and soul into this project! It was beyond a joy and a pleasure to work side by side with each and every one of u! Lord knows if I could post every picture, I would but u know who u r (sic)!!

“From the director to the DP (director of photography), to hair and make-up, acting coach and extras too! To each and every driver and everyone in between! Much Respect to all of you!!!!”

Hudson will be hoping this film is better received than her last – the movie adaptation of stage musical Cats was one of last year’s biggest commercial and critical flops.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect also features appearances from Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Tituss Burgess, Mary J. Blige, and Queen Latifah.

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Jennifer Hudson ‘overwhelmed’ by pressure of Aretha Franklin role

Jennifer Hudson is feeling “overwhelmed” by the pressure to perfect her performance as Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic.The singer is stepping into the Queen of Soul’s shoes for the upcoming musical movie, Respect, and told As If Magazine she “cou…

Jennifer Hudson is feeling “overwhelmed” by the pressure to perfect her performance as Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic.

The singer is stepping into the Queen of Soul’s shoes for the upcoming musical movie, Respect, and told As If Magazine she “couldn’t be more humbled, intimidated and excited” by the honour of portraying the “iconic” diva.

“It’s a blessing, but scary at the same time. I go to sleep listening to Aretha, and I wake up listening to Aretha. I just want to do her justice and do the best job I possibly can,” she said. “To take on the lifespan of the career and legacy of this iconic figure is a huge responsibility. Even the way she spoke was so beautiful. I’m trying to pay as much homage to her as I possibly can.”

The former American Idol contestant was close with the Think hitmaker, and revealed the star gave her “pieces into her life” before her death at the age of 76 in August 2018.

“When people are that iconic it’s easy to forget they had a life and that they are more than just an entertainer,” the 38-year-old shared. “They are a person, they’re a sister, they’re a child, they’re a wife, they’re a friend… In our conversations she was teaching me more about life than her life.”

Respect, also starring Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, Audra McDonald, and Tate Donovan, is expected to hit cinemas in October.

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Andra Day to portray Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels’s biopic

R&B star Andra Day has been cast as legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels’s upcoming biopic. The Grammy Award nominee had been attached to the project for some time, and Daniels confirmed she had been cast in her first-ever lead movie rol…

R&B star Andra Day has been cast as legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in Lee Daniels’s upcoming biopic.

The Grammy Award nominee had been attached to the project for some time, and Daniels confirmed she had been cast in her first-ever lead movie role on Tuesday, when he revealed that she will be joined by Bird Box and Moonlight star Trevante Rhodes, Mudbound’s Garrett Hedlund, Orange Is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne, and Dolemite Is My Name’s Da’Vine Joy Randolph.

According to Deadline, The United States vs. Billie Holiday will follow Holiday during her career as she is targeted by the Federal Department of Narcotics with an undercover sting operation led by federal agent Jimmy Fletcher, with whom she had a tumultuous affair. The biopic will also examine the singer’s struggles with addiction, fame, and love.

“It is an extraordinary responsibility to tell the story of the iconic Billie Holiday. Her story is very personal to me and I hope to do justice when bringing to light this profound and complicated soul – a great artist and an unsung civil rights warrior,” Daniels told the publication.

The Precious filmmaker will direct and produce the project, which is set to go into production in Montreal, Canada in October.

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, who received a Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog in 2002, becoming the first African-American woman to achieve this honour, will pen the script for the movie, which is inspired by the 2015 non-fiction book Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs by Johann Hari.

Christopher Gunning will come out of retirement to compose the original score, while record producer Salaam Remi, who is known for his work with the late Amy Winehouse, is on board too.

Holiday, who died in 1959 at the age of 44, has most notably been portrayed by Diana Ross in 1972’s Lady Sings the Blues and Audra McDonald in 2016 TV movie and Broadway production Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. A documentary about the jazz star simply titled Billie is also in the works.

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