Husdon, who will play Franklin in an upcoming biopic due out in the fall of 2020, opens the minute-long trailer dressed in a gold, sequined, floor-length gown. With gold light piercing through the background, Hudson stands alone on a stage singing Franklin’s hit song, “Respect.”
As she continues to sing, gold letters spelling out the word R-E-S-P-E-C-T are magnified and reflected on stage, highlighting the magnitude of what the song represents.
According to NBC News, “the biopic, directed by Liesl Tommy, will cover Franklin’s rise to fame, from being merely the star of her father’s church choir and going through personal adversities to becoming one of the biggest music luminaries of the 1960s, without going into her entire subsequent life.”
Hudon, who said, “I just hope I make her proud [and] do her justice,” was said to have been handpicked by the iconic Franklin herself.
Last year at Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party, Davis announced Jennifer Hudson to the stage and mentioned that she would be playing Franklin in the upcoming biopic
"When the biopic of the great Aretha Franklin is filmed next year, the artist anointed by Aretha herself to play her is the next performer. Aretha personally told me that last week," Davis said. "This artist to us is a transcendent performer. She stops any and every show she's in. Her voice is truly incredible. When they ask, 'Where's the next Aretha, where the next Aretha will come from?' I say it's [Hudson]. She's in the studio right now recording what I hope will be a classic album... she's in the tradition of Adele, she's a singer's singer,” according to Harper's Bazaar.
In May 2020, Cynthia Erivo will star in National Geographic’s story about Franklin, “Genius: Aretha”. Franklin was a cultural icon with a voice that could lift the nation, and she was the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Franklin passed away in 2018 at the age of 76.
At the 2019 Pulitzer Prize Awards ceremony in May, Hudson blessed the audience by singing “Amazing Grace” to honor Franklin, who was posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize Special Citation honor.
Hudson currently stars in the Broadway musical-turned-live-action film, Cats, where she plays Grizabella the Glamour Cat.
Hitting theater Oct. 9, 2020, Hudson’s costars in the Franklin biopic will include, “Forest Whitaker, Maron Wayans, Mary J Blige, Audra McDonald, Heather Headley, Tituss Burgess and Marc Maron.”