Jennifer Hudson plays the late Aretha Franklin and belts out her iconic song, Respect, in the announcement trailer and poster for the upcoming biopic about the late Queen of Soul. Prior to her passing in August 2018, Franklin actually hand-picked the Oscar-winning Hudson to play her in the big screen treatment of her life, with Tracey Scott Wilson (Fosse/Verdon) writing the script and Liesl Tommy (Mrs. Fletcher) directing. The film is one of two depictions of Franklin due to hit screens in 2020, with Cynthia Erivo (Harriet) portraying the singer in season three of National Geographic’s Genius anthology series.

Hudson won her Oscar for her performance in 2006’s Dreamgirls and is back in theaters this weekend with a decidedly different sort of Broadway adaptation in the form of Tom Hooper’s already-infamous Cats movie musical (where she plays the downtrodden Grizabella). Respect isn’t scheduled to arrive until October 9, 2020 (it only just moved back from its previous August release date), but MGM has decided to take advantage of next week’s winter holiday festivities to get its marketing up and going well ahead of then.

A teaser or announcement video and poster for Respect dropped online this morning, offering the first-look (not to mention, sound) of Hudson performing the eponymous tune in-character as Franklin. And in case there was ever any doubt the real Franklin chose well, this clip will quickly put those concerns to rest. Check them out, them.

Story-wise, Respect will reportedly cover a vast amount of Franklin’s life, beginning with her days as a young child (where she’s played by Skye Dakota Turner) singing in her Baptist minister father’s (Forest Whitaker) church choir around the mid-2oth century to becoming an international music superstar and civil rights activist in the decades that followed. Hollywood musician biopics of this ilk are known for abiding by a strict narrative formula (one the 2007 comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story famously parodied), but recent singer memoirs like Rocketman have also demonstrated they’re capable of changing things up and providing fresh insight about their subject’s lives. The hope is Respect will similarly find a way to avoid being a paint by numbers biography, with more than a little assistance from a great cast that includes Mary J. Blige, Audra McDonald, and Titus Burgess in supporting roles.

Obviously, with two weeks left in 2019, it’s way too early to begin speculating about 2020’s awards season with any kind of certainty. But with that being said, Hudson’s performance in Respect looks like one to watch out for, and it’s fair bet she’ll be getting a major Oscar push by the time the film opens in theaters some ten months from now.

Source: MGM