×

Jennifer Hudson to Play Aretha Franklin In Biopic

MGM has acquired rights to develop an Aretha Franklin biopic and signed Jennifer Hudson to portray Franklin in the  untitled project.

Scott Bernstein (“Straight Outta Compton”) and music producer Harvey Mason are attached as producers. Mason was a producer on the “Sing” and “Pitch Perfect 2” soundtracks.

The casting of Hudson — who won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress in “Dreamgirls” — was unveiled by Clive Davis at his Saturday night pre-Grammy party. He said that Franklin had personally selected Hudson for the role in the biopic.

The event included performances by Barry Manilow, Luis Fonsi, Ben Platt, Alicia Keys, Khalid and Logic. Hudson concluded the performance by delivering a medley of Franklin’s hits including “Think,” “Rock Steady,” and “(You Make Me Feel Like a) Natural Woman.”

Franklinhas won 17 Grammy Awards, starting with “Respect” in 1968 and “Chain of Fools” in 1969. She was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, who said of Franklin, “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll — the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope”.

Hudson’s  credits include “Sex and the City” “The Secret Life of Bees” and Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq.” She can next be seen in “Monster”  alongside Jeffrey Wright, Jennifer Ehle and Timothy Blake Nelson. She also served as a season 13 coach on NBC’s “The Voice.” News about MGM coming on board was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

More Music

  • Paul McCartney Has Penned Score for

    Paul McCartney Has Been Secretly Writing an 'It's a Wonderful Life' Musical

    The pop superstar who once released a movie and album called “Give My Regards to Broad Street” really does have designs on Broadway, after all. It was revealed Wednesday that Paul McCartney has already written a song score for a stage musical adaptation of the 1946 Frank Capra film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The [...]

  • Haim Saban

    Haim Saban Pledges to Invest $500 Million to Launch Music Label

    Businessman, investor and philanthropist Haim Saban, who heads the Saban Capital Group, has pledged to invest $500 million to launch a record label. Saban Music Group (SMG) will be led by music executive Gustavo Lopez and focus on “international A&R, artist development and strategically supporting a 360 model for artists,” reads a release announcing SMG, [...]

  • Dunkirk

    Harry Styles Is the Perfect Prince Eric; Why He'd Rock 'Little Mermaid' Role

    Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections. “I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” [...]

  • Plume of black smoke rising from

    Universal Music Files Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit From Artists Claiming Fire Damage

    Universal Music Group filed a motion on Wednesday to dismiss a class-action lawsuit from attorneys representing Soundgarden, Hole, Steve Earle and the estates of Tupac and Tom Petty over master recordings reportedly destroyed in a 2008 fire, the extent of which was revealed last month in a New York Times article. UMG argues that the musicians cannot pursue a [...]

  • David Crosby

    David Crosby Says New Documentary 'Remember My Name' Is Like 'Being Naked in Public’

    “It’s not easy. It’s hard being naked in public,” David Crosby, the legendary troubadour of classic rock, reflected at Tuesday night’s New York City premiere of “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” “I don’t know what to do here. There’s no guitars, no drums,” he laughed. Directed by newcomer A.J. Eaton and produced by the legendary [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    New Kinks Music is Underway After More Than Two Decades Apart, Dave Davies Confirms

    The road to reunion for the Kinks has been fraught with in-fighting and bitter sibling rivalry, but despite it all the band has made its way back in the recording studio. Dave Davies confirmed to Rolling Stone Tuesday that he and his brother have been recording new songs and re-recording older unreleased tracks. “This has [...]

  • After Yet Another Rejection, What Could

    After Yet Another Rejection, What Could Be Next for Woodstock 50?

    In the wake of the Town of Vernon’s third rejection of Woodstock 50’s permit application to hold its music festival at a venue in the Upstate New York municipality, one may well wonder what the troubled event’s next move might be. In the hours after the latest rejection was announced, even the optimistic-bordering-on-unrealistic producers sounded [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content