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. It stars Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson as Franklin.
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 (2016’s “Eclipsed”), and is an associate artist at the Berkeley Rep and an artist trustee with the Sundance Institute’s board of trustees.
“Respect” is based on a story by Callie Khouri (Oscar winner for writing, “Thelma & Louise”) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and a screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play “The Good Negro,” written by Wilson, and directed by Tommy at The Public Theatre. Wilson was a writer on FX’s “The Americans,” which garnered her a Peabody Award as well as Emmy and WGA Award nominations.
Additional cast members include Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Kimberly Scott, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige.
Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington in “Respect,” a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. (Photo credit: Quantrell D. Colbert ©2020 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc/all rights reserved)