Liesl Tommy to Direct Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’

Liesl Tommy to Direct Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’
Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures is moving ahead on its Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect,” tapping stage director Liesl Tommy to direct.

MGM set the project in motion a year ago when it was announced that Jennifer Hudson — who won a supporting actor Oscar for “Dreamgirls” — had been personally selected for the role by Franklin. The singer, who died in August, won 17 Grammy Awards, starting with “Respect” in 1968 and “Chain of Fools” in 1969.

Hudson proved she had the pipes to portray the legendary artist earlier this year, when she performed a rousing, pitch-perfect medley of Franklin’s hits at Clive Davis’ Pre-Grammy Gala.

MGM also said that Callie Khouri, who wrote “Thelma & Louise” and is the creator of “Nashville,” would write the screenplay following the rise of Franklin’s career, from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to a superstar.

Tradecraft’s Scott Bernstein, who produced “Straight Outta Compton,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

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