Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

EXCLUSIVE: Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’ starring Jennifer Hudson shooting in Georgia

Originally posted Tuesday, September 10, 2019 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

A big-budget biopic dubbed “Respect” about Detroit native Aretha Franklin is shooting in metro Atlanta, according to the Georgia film office.

Franklin, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2018 at age 76, will be played by Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson. Hudson performed both at Franklin’s funeral and a tribute concert to honor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame singer.

The Queen of Soul personally blessed Hudson to play her. 

"They both sing with a lot of emotion. They both sing with a lot of range and power,” said Harvey Mason Jr., producer of "Respect," the Detroit Free Press last year. “It's really hard to compare anyone with Aretha, though. I think the good thing about Jennifer is that was Aretha's pick to play her. ... There was a lot of discussion about a lot of people, but Aretha was adamant that it be Jennifer."

Hudson is no stranger to Atlanta. She shot a popular American Family Insurance ad last year in downtown Atlanta where she surprised Marietta singer-songwriter Alex Guthrie. She had roles in “The Three Stooges” film and the 2016 HBO movie “Confirmation,” both shot in metro Atlanta. 

MGM, the studio, is scheduled to release “Respect” on August 14, 2020. 

Callie Khouri, writer of “Thelma & Louise” and creator of the TV series “Nashville,” penned the screenplay. 

This won’t be the first time Atlanta has masqueraded as Detroit. The pilot to a cop show “Detroit 1-8-7” from 2010 was shot in Atlanta though they did move the production to Michigan for the other 17 episodes before it was cancelled in 2011. 

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.