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Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Going Wide Over MLK Weekend Instead Of Christmas Platform Release

  • Deadline
Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Going Wide Over MLK Weekend Instead Of Christmas Platform Release
Exclusive: In the wake of the great response from Jennifer Hudson’s performance of Aretha Franklin’s “Young, Gifted & Black” on the BET Awards, and the 60 minute trailer that followed, MGM/United Artists Releasing is now going wide with their biopic about the legendary performer on Jan. 15, 2021, MLK weekend. The all-in move shows how much confidence they have in the film’s commercial potential.

Previously, the studio was planning to platform the movie, with a limited Christmas Day debut, an expansion on Jan. 8 and full-on wide release on Jan. 15. Also, having an extension to the Oscar-qualifying period (to the end of February) helps. It will be interesting to see how many more studios follow this model, versus the typical Thanksgiving-Christmas crunch for award pedigree films.

Respect is directed by Liesl Tommy and stars Dreamgirls Oscar winner Hudson as Franklin, Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington,
See full article at Deadline »

Respect Trailer Transforms Jennifer Hudson Into the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin

  • MovieWeb
Respect Trailer Transforms Jennifer Hudson Into the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin
The first trailer for Respect has landed. Jennifer Hudson is playing Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, in the movie, which will undoubtedly get some more hype when awards season begins. Hudson, already known for being a great singer, has stepped up her game in a major way for the upcoming movie and we've only seen a few minutes of footage at this time. There is a reason that Franklin handpicked the actress to play her on the big screen before her death.

Respect takes a look at the life of Aretha Franklin from singing in her father's church choir to becoming one of the most famous voices of all time. The movie also charts some of the setbacks she faced along the way, which were abundant. The project has been in the works for a number of years, with Franklin on board until her death in 2018. At this time,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Jennifer Hudson And Mary J. Blige Shine In First Trailer For Aretha Franklin Biopic Respect

Jennifer Hudson And Mary J. Blige Shine In First Trailer For Aretha Franklin Biopic Respect
Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin in Respect A Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert / © 2020 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved

Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.

Director Liesl Tommy makes her feature film debut with Respect. Tommy is the first Black woman ever nominated for a Tony award for Best Direction of a Play in 2016 for Eclipsed, and is an Associate Artist at the Berkeley Rep and an Artist Trustee with the Sundance Institute’s Board of Trustees.

Check out the first trailer starring Jennifer Hudson, Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan, and Mary J. Blige. See the film this December.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Watch Jennifer Hudson Channel Aretha Franklin in ‘Respect’ Teaser Trailer (Video)

Watch Jennifer Hudson Channel Aretha Franklin in ‘Respect’ Teaser Trailer (Video)
Jennifer Hudson channels Aretha Franklin in the first teaser trailer for the upcoming biopic of the late Queen of Soul “Respect,” which debuted Sunday during the BET Awards ceremony.

The film, directed by Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy in her feature film debut, follows the rise of Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church choir to her international superstardom.

In addition to Hudson, the film also stars Forest Whitaker as her Baptist minister father C.L. Franklin, Audra McDonald as her mother, Barbara Franklin, Marlon Wayans as her first husband, Ted White, Marc Maron as music producer Jerry Wexler, Tituss Burgess as gospel music legend James Cleveland, Saycon Sengbloh as sister Erma Franklin, Hailey Kilgore as Carolyn Franklin, Heather Headley as gospel singer Clara Ward, Skye Dakota Turner as young Aretha, Tate Donovan as record producer John Hammond and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington.

Also Read:
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Respect’ Trailer: Jennifer Hudson Is the Queen of Soul in Aretha Franklin Biopic

‘Respect’ Trailer: Jennifer Hudson Is the Queen of Soul in Aretha Franklin Biopic
The first full trailer for MGM’s “Respect,” the upcoming Aretha Franklin starring vocal powerhouse Jennifer Hudson as the Queen of Soul, has arrived. The preview dropped Sunday night following Hudson’s performance at the BET Awards, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.

The film directed by Liesl Tommy was originally slated to open in theaters October 9, but was pushed to a limited Christmas Day debut, to be followed by an expansion kicking off January 8 and a wide opening on January 15, timed for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Expect a major awards play for star Hudson, who previously won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her scene-stealing turn in the musical “Dreamgirls.” Watch the trailer for “Respect” below.

The film charts the highs and lows of Franklin’s life and career. She began as a young gospel singer in Detroit and became a smash success after signing
See full article at Indiewire »

Film News Roundup: Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Pushed Back to Christmas

  • Variety
Film News Roundup: Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Pushed Back to Christmas
In today’s film news roundup, Jennifer Hudson’s “Respect” is moved back two months; another film festival is postponed; and “Lupin the Third: the First” and “Raising Buchanan” find distribution; and Prominent Productions launches.

Release Date

MGM has moved the release date of Jennifer Hudson’s Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” from Oct. 9 to late in the awards seasons with a limited Christmas Day debut.

Respect,” titled after Franklin’s 1967 hit, will expand Jan. 8 and go into wide release Jan. 15 at the start of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Hudson, who won a supporting actress Oscar for “Dreamgirls,” was personally selected for the role by Franklin before Franklin died in 2018 at the age of 76.

Franklin won 17 Grammys, starting with “Respect” in 1968 and “Chain of Fools” in 1969. The film, directed by Liesl Tommy, also stars Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Mary J. Blige as
See full article at Variety »

Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Heads To Christmas For Awards Season Rollout

  • Deadline
Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Heads To Christmas For Awards Season Rollout
Exclusive: I hear the dailies of Jennifer Hudson in MGM’s Aretha Franklin biopic Respect are mind-blowing, and to tee off the feature just right the studio is moving it off its October 9 release date for a limited Christmas Day debut.

From there, Respect will expand January 8 in theaters with a full-on wide release January 15, which is Mlk weekend.

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While many studios jockey to launch their awards-season fare in the thick of autumn, a movie can still go in the tail-end holiday season to garnish buzz and bucks, i.e., American Sniper, 1917 and Hidden Figures, all of which were blockbusters and Oscar-lauded movies.

Respect is directed by Liesl Tommy and stars
See full article at Deadline »

Cynthia Erivo Transforms Into Aretha Franklin in First Genius Teaser Trailer

Cynthia Erivo Transforms Into Aretha Franklin in First Genius Teaser Trailer
Cynthia Erivo is ready for her close-up as Aretha Franklin!

The Oscars nominee, 33, completes her transformation into the Queen of Soul in the first teaser for National Geographic’s Genius: Aretha, a biographical television anthology series about the legendary singer.

In a short trailer released on Friday, Erivo captures Franklin’s passion for music — from her humble upbringing to recording her iconic hits in the studio.

“What kind of music do you really want to make, Miss Franklin?” producer Jerry Wexler, played by actor David Cross, asks her at one point in the clip.

To which Erivo’s Franklin replies,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

‘Genius: Aretha’ First Look Teaser To Bow During Sunday’s Oscar Telecast – Watch It

  • Deadline
National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios will release a first-look, national teaser promo for Genius: Aretha during this Sunday’s Oscars telecast airing on ABC, a sister network of NatGeo, which is also owned by Disney.

Cynthia Erivo, a 2020 Academy Awards nominee, stars as Aretha Franklin in the third season of the global anthology series. Set to perform Stand Up live during the Oscars, Erivo is nominated in two categories: Actress in a Leading Role and Music (Original Song) for the film Harriet.

Genius: Aretha will premiere over four consecutive nights, beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 25, at 9/8c. The series will be the first authorized scripted limited series on the life of Aretha Franklin. The eight-part series will explore Franklin’s musical genius and career, and the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world.

The cast includes Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin; Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) as C.L. Franklin; David Cross as Jerry Wexler; Malcolm Barrett as Ted White; Pauletta Washington (She’s Gotta Have It) as Grandmother Rachel; Patrice Covington (Broadway’s The Color Purple) as Erma Franklin; Rebecca Naomi Jones (The Big Sick) as Carolyn Franklin; Steven Norfleet (Watchmen) as Cecil Franklin; Kimberly Hébert Gregory (Vice Principals) as Ruth Bowen; Omar J. Dorsey (Queen Sugar) as James Cleveland; Marque Richardson (Dear White People) as King Curtis; and introducing Shaian Jordan as Little Re.

Imagine is partnering with Warner Music Entertainment for this third season, which will again be executive produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer and Ron Howard. Suzan-Lori Parks is showrunner and executive producer, and Anthony Hemingway is executive producer and producing director for the season.

Record producer Clive Davis and Atlantic Records Chairman and CEO Craig Kallman have also joined as executive producers. Returning executive producers include Francie Calfo, Ken Biller, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane (Mwm Studios), and Sam Sokolow (Eue/Sokolow). In addition, Imagine’s Anna Culp serves as producer alongside Peter Afterman.
See full article at Deadline »

Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Offers First Look Of Cynthia Erivo As Queen Of Soul

  • Deadline
Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ Offers First Look Of Cynthia Erivo As Queen Of Soul
Cynthia Erivo is transformed into the late, great Queen of Soul in a first-look photo from Genius: Aretha, the upcoming biographical series from National Geographic and Fox 21 Television Studios.

See the photo below.

Erivo, a Tony Award winner for Broadway’s 2015 The Color Purple and the star of this year’s Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, will play Aretha Franklin in the third installment of the series (following seasons devoted to Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso).

“Over the last few months,” said Erivo, “I’ve been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from relistening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha’s attitude and spirit. I’m truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we’ll serve the Queen and create something special.”

Also featured in the cast are
See full article at Deadline »

TVLine Items: Genius Casts Aretha's Dad, GoT Vet Joins Killing Eve and More

TVLine Items: Genius Casts Aretha's Dad, GoT Vet Joins Killing Eve and More
Courtney B. Vance will play father to a music icon in the Aretha Franklin installment of National Geographic’s anthology series Genius.

Vance, who won an Emmy Award for playing defense lawyer Johnnie Cochran in The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, will take on the role of C.L. Franklin, an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.” C.L. and his daughter Aretha (portrayed as an adult by Harriet‘s Cynthia Erivo) shared a close but fraught relationship as he supported her throughout her career.

More from TVLineTVLine Items: Timeless Vet Is Aretha's Husband,
See full article at TVLine.com »

‘Genius: Aretha’: Courtney B. Vance To Play Aretha Franklin’s Father In Nat Geo Series

  • Deadline
‘Genius: Aretha’: Courtney B. Vance To Play Aretha Franklin’s Father In Nat Geo Series
Courtney B. Vance, an Emmy winner for his performance as Johnnie Cochran in FX’s The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, is set to star opposite Cynthia Erivo in Genius: Aretha, the next installment of Nat Geo’s popular anthology series, from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios.

Billed as the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Franklin, Genius: Aretha will begin production in December for a spring 2020 premiere on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages.

Vance joins as Aretha’s (Erivo) father, C.L. Franklin, an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.” A star in his own right, C.L.’s legendary sermons were published and sold in record stores and broadcast on a weekly radio show, and he booked national ministry tours and public appearances. C.L. had a close but fraught relationship
See full article at Deadline »

Courtney B. Vance Joins ‘Genius: Aretha’ at Nat Geo

  • Variety
Courtney B. Vance Joins ‘Genius: Aretha’ at Nat Geo
Courtney B. Vance has joined the cast of the upcoming third season of “Genius” at Nat Geo, which will focus on Aretha Franklin.

Vance will star as Aretha’s father C.L. Franklin. Cynthia Erivo is set to play Aretha, with Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Sanai Victoria also set to star in the eight-episode season. Suzan-Lori Parks serves as showrunner and executive producer with Anthony Hemingway executive producing and directing. The season is slated to debut in the spring.

C.L. Franklin is described as an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.” A star in his own right, C.L.’s legendary sermons were published and sold in record stores and broadcast on a weekly radio show, and he booked national ministry tours and public appearances. C.L. had a close but fraught relationship with his daughter and supported her throughout her career,
See full article at Variety »

Courtney B Vance Joins Nat Geo’s ‘Genius’ as Aretha Franklin’s Father

  • The Wrap
Courtney B Vance Joins Nat Geo’s ‘Genius’ as Aretha Franklin’s Father
The Aretha Franklin season of Nat Geo’s “Genius” anthology series has added “American Crime Story” alum Courtney B. Vance to its cast.

Vance will star opposite Cynthia Erivo in “Genius: Aretha,” playing the late soul singer’s father, C.L. Franklin, an influential reverend and civil rights activist known as the “Million Dollar Voice.”

Nat Geo describes him as, “A star in his own right, C.L.’s legendary sermons were published and sold in record stores and broadcast on a weekly radio show, and he booked national ministry tours and public appearances. C.L. had a close but fraught relationship with his daughter and supported her throughout her career, most notably when he encouraged her transition from singing gospel to more popular genres.”

Also Read: 'Genius': Nat Geo Finds Its Aretha Franklin for Next Season of Historical Anthology

Suzan-Lori Parks will serve as showrunner on the new season, with
See full article at The Wrap »

Courtney B. Vance to Play Aretha Franklin's Father in 'Genius'

National Geographic has cast another award-winning actor in Genius: Aretha, chronicling the life of the late Aretha Franklin.

Emmy winner Courtney B. Vance (The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) will star opposite Grammy and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo in the third season of the anthology series. He will play Aretha's father, C.L. Franklin, an influential minister and civil rights activist — and a star in his own right.

Genius: Aretha will mark a reunion between Vance and People v. O.J. Simpson director Anthony Hemingway, who is an executive producer and producing director on the series. Nat Geo is ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Review: "Amazing Grace," Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares

  • MUBI
Forty-seven years ago, in 1972, when Sydney Pollack filmed Aretha Franklin recording her Amazing Grace album, he did not use clapper boards. Franklin, then 29, had recently released Spirit in the Dark (1970) and Young, Gifted and Black (1972), and decided to record Amazing Grace probably because some of her critics believed that she had started straying from her gospel roots. Daughter of Baptist minister C.L. Franklin, Ms. Franklin not only decided to record an album of gospel songs that she had grown up singing, but also decided to record it in Los Angeles’ New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in front of a live audience, thereby proving that her roots were intact and nourishing one of the most magnificent musical geniuses our times have known. Franklin’s co-producer, Jerry Wexler, had arranged for Warner Bros. to film the recording and had signed up Sydney Pollack to film the proceedings. At the end of shooting
See full article at MUBI »

‘Amazing Grace’ Film Review: Aretha Franklin Lives on in Resplendent Gospel Concert Film

  • The Wrap
‘Amazing Grace’ Film Review: Aretha Franklin Lives on in Resplendent Gospel Concert Film
Aretha Franklin was at the peak of her career and her creative powers when her gospel album “Amazing Grace” was released in 1972. (It sold more than two million copies and became her best-selling record.) Director Sydney Pollack was hired by Warner Brothers to make a film of Franklin’s recording session for this album at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, but Pollack didn’t use a clapperboard to synchronize picture and sound at the beginning of each take, and so he was unable to complete the movie, which sat in storage for 38 years.

The footage was handed over to producer Alan Elliott in 2008, and Elliott managed to salvage the project, but then Franklin sued him and prevented him from showing the movie at various film festivals. After Franklin’s death this year, Elliott was given the go-ahead by her estate to finally show “Amazing Grace” in theaters,
See full article at The Wrap »

‘Amazing Grace’ Review: The Gospel According to Aretha Franklin

‘Amazing Grace’ Review: The Gospel According to Aretha Franklin
It’s the closest thing to witnessing a miracle — just some cameras, a crowd and a voice touched by God. Over two days in January of 1972, Aretha Franklin got up to sing out her gospel at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, backed by the Southern California Community Choir. A film crew was there to catch the Queen of Soul blow the roof off the place. Not to get closer to the Lord — surely He was already listening — but to testify to his glory with the black church
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Aretha Franklin ‘Amazing Grace’ Film Set for Premieres at Civil Rights Museums, African American Churches (Exclusive)

  • Variety
Aretha Franklin ‘Amazing Grace’ Film Set for Premieres at Civil Rights Museums, African American Churches (Exclusive)
Aretha Franklin is going on tour — or, rather, the concert movie she stars in is, as “Amazing Grace” is being booked for a solid week’s worth of premieres across the country at the end of March, Variety has learned. Alan Elliott, the documentary’s producer, and prominent civil rights activist Rev. William J. Barber II will be taking the film to back-to-back premiere events at locations including the Smithsonian in Washington, the Martin Luther King Jr. Museum in Atlanta, the Civil Rights Museum in Alabama and, not least of all, the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where the late superstar’s father, C.L. Franklin, preached, and where she returned to sing up through her last years.

Amazing Grace” will also have its official L.A. bow March 31 at a church, and not just any house of worship, but the New Missionary Temple Church, where the movie was filmed
See full article at Variety »

Aretha Franklin takes you to the moon in trailer for ‘Amazing Grace’

  • HeyUGuys
Studiocanal has released a trailer for the music documentary showcasing never-before-seen footage of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin during the intimate recording of her iconic album ‘Amazing Grace’.

In 1971, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed Queen of Soul, brought producer Jerry Wexler, her backup singers, and the legendary Atlantic Records rhythm section to The New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Watts to record an album of gospel music before an enthusiastic live audience. The result, “Amazing Grace”, went on to become the top-selling gospel record of all time, the biggest album of Aretha Franklin’s career, and one of her most beloved works.

But even as the album gained fans around the world, few realized that those inspirational sessions had not only been recorded, they had been filmed by a camera crew led by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sydney Pollack.

Pollack and his team spent two nights capturing
See full article at HeyUGuys »
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