The first footage of Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in “Respect” emerged Friday ― and it sings. Hudson belts out the late Queen of Soul’s signature song for 40 seconds or so, proving that she’s a natural woman to play Franklin in a biopic.
Hudson said the “mind-blowing” task of portraying Franklin has been a long time in the making. She told “The Late Show” Thursday (see the clip below) that Franklin met with her years ago about playing her in a biography ― right after Hudson won her Oscar for “Dreamgirls” in 2007. But the R&B legend made the “final decision” that Hudson would be her choice when Hudson was in “The Color Purple” on Broadway from 2015 to 16.
Her reaction? “Yes, ma’am,” she told host Stephen Colbert.
MGM wrote that the biography covers Franklin’s life “from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom.”
Franklin died in 2018 at age 76.
The film is due out in 2020.