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Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’ release date moved to Christmas

Jennifer Hudson will play Aretha Franklin.

Aretha Franklin Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press

The release of the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect has been pushed back to be released during the awards season rollout.

According to Deadline, the film has been pushed back from its original release on Oct. 9 to a limited release on Christmas Day. From there, the film “will expand Jan. 8 in theaters with a full-on wide release on Jan. 15, which is MLK weekend.”

Jennifer Hudson is slated to portray Franklin, a role that Franklin’s son says she was hand-picked for.

Hudson will join Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Skye Dakota Turner, Tate Donovan and Mary J. Blige in the cast, with director Liesl Tommy.

“I am thrilled with the incredibly talented cast we have assembled for our film, and I’m so proud that Ms. Franklin entrusted us to tell her story and to share it with the world,” Tommy previously told Deadline. “As a storyteller, hers is the kind of story we all dream of telling. Her music has inspired me since I was a little girl, and the milestones of her life and career have shown us all how to strive and thrive. To have this powerhouse group of actors – and the phenomenal talent of Jennifer Hudson in this iconic role – means we have the chance of making this film as transcendent as her glorious life and legacy.”

The “Spotlight” singer announced that she would be performing virtually in an Instagram post yesterday (Mar. 24). She wrote, “‘Together.’ It’s so important to stay home right now, so I’ve partnered up with my friends at @glblctzn to bring you a concert from my home to yours that will be live streaming here on IG on Wednesday, March 25th at 1 pm PT/ 4 pm ET. Also, my number is 312-584-4141 so text me! I can’t wait to talk to you all more. #TogetherAtHome.”

On the birthday of the late Franklin, Hudson performed “Impossible Dream,” “All In Love Is Fair” and “Amazing Grace” to her fans as part of Global Citizen’s “Together At Home” concert series.

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