After approximately five years of development, the Aretha Franklin biopic is officially ready to receive the greenlight.  It has yet to be confirmed; however sources state that Jennifer Hudson is in discussions to play Aretha Franklin and is currently in the last stages of negotiation.

“Good news, we’re ready to sign for the movie.  We’ve agreed on all the key points. There’s very little left now (to negotiate), very little.  They have given me creative control and that’s all I wanted.”- Aretha Franklin

Franklin initially wanted Halle Berry to portray her in the film, but the actress said in response, “Someone should tell Aretha that I can’t do her justice.”  Hudson would be the perfect casting choice to honor the life of the legendary Aretha Franklin.  She won the world over with her Academy Award-winning performance in the film adaptation of the play Dreamgirls, and went on to star in The Secret Life of Bees, Sex and The City, Think Like A Man, and Lullaby.  Most recently, she appeared on the hit Fox series Empire.

According to The Wrap, The Untitled Aretha Franklin Project, has been in the works since 2011, and will chronicle the singer’s rise to fame in the 60’s and 70’s.  The film will also shed a light on her relationship with her abusive ex-husband Ted White, and how her father helped her shape her music during that time.  Franklin is one of the top-selling female musicians of all-time.  She has sold over 75 million records worldwide that won her 18 Grammy Awards. She was also the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The film will be produced by Universal Pictures executive Scott Bernstein, who produced the critically acclaimed film Straight Outta Compton.

Regardless of who is cast to play the legendary R&B superstar in the film, this is a story that should be told.  We are excited to hear that after 5 years, things are officially moving forward!



About The Author

Founder, HBR Media

K. Nicole Mills is the Founder of HBR Media. She transitioned from Wall Street to television and film development, and has worked at NBCUniversal, Universal Pictures, and Showtime Networks. She currently develops digital programming for premium networks. Reach out anytime!

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