Aretha Franklin biopic Respect postponed until Christmas

The release of the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, has been postponed until December.The highly-anticipated movie is directed by Liesl Tommy and features a star-studded cast including Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayan…

The release of the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson, has been postponed until December.

The highly-anticipated movie is directed by Liesl Tommy and features a star-studded cast including Oscar winner Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Mary J. Blige, and Tituss Burgess.

It was announced on Thursday that bosses at MGM have decided to move the release date of the biopic from 9 October to a limited run starting on 25 December.

Respect will then expand on 8 January, ahead of a full release across the U.S. on 15 January, to kick off the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, according to Deadline.

The move is thought to have been done in order to improve Hudson’s chances of landing an Oscar nomination for her performance as the soul icon.

Hudson, who won an Academy Award for her performance in Dreamgirls back in 2007, was personally picked for the role in the musical biopic by Franklin before she passed away in 2018 at the age of 76.

The movie was due to be competing against Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie sequel Death on the Nile and Robert Zemeckis’ big-screen adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, The Witches.

However, release schedules for the year have been thrown into disarray due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has closed thousands of cinema chains across the world.

Movies including The Batman, Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid, and Mission: Impossible 7 have had production halted amid the global pandemic, and Joel Coen’s adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth has also been affected.

The drama, starring Denzel Washington, Frances McDormand, and Brendan Gleeson, was set to begin filming in Los Angeles, but has been postponed as the city is on lockdown to stop the spread of the virus, according to the publication.

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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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Aretha Franklin gown sells for $10,000 at memorabilia auction

Over 30 items worn by the late Queen of Soul were on the block during the event held by Julien’s Auctions in New York City as part of the two-day Icons & Idols: Rock-N-Roll extravaganza at the Hard Rock Cafe Time Square this weekend (09-10Nov18).Accord…

Over 30 items worn by the late Queen of Soul were on the block during the event held by Julien’s Auctions in New York City as part of the two-day Icons & Idols: Rock-N-Roll extravaganza at the Hard Rock Cafe Time Square this weekend (09-10Nov18).

According to editors at the Detroit Free Press, a pink silk two-piece Bill Blass-designed gown worn by Aretha at the Duets concert AIDS benefit in 1993, sold for the large sum.

A black silk hat adorned with black feathers, black fishnet and white silk flowers, which the singer wore to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opening ceremony in 1995, was sold for $3,125 (£2,420). While a strapless white silk evening gown and a satin coat worn by the Respect hitmaker at the 1998 Grammys’ pre-party sold for $8,750 (£6,778).

The outfits were a last-minute addition to proceedings, but memorabilia dealer Martin Nolan was quick to include them after getting a call from Aretha’s inner circle.

“It was completely unexpected,” Nolan told The Hollywood Reporter. “We’ve had the dates for this auction set since last May, so once we received these items in early September, we really needed to scramble to get everything photographed and included in a way that felt like we were doing right by her.”

The auction featured more than 800 items from music’s biggest icons including Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Elvis Presley, The Beatles and Madonna, with the proceeds going to the Prince’s Trust, which helps disadvantaged young people in the U.K.

The Freeway of Love hitmaker died aged 76 after losing a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

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