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Jennifer Hudson says she hopes to make Aretha Franklin “proud” with her portrayal of the late music icon in an upcoming biopic.

“I just hope I make her proud [and] do her justice,” Hudson said about playing Franklin in the biopic “Respect,” set to drop next year.

“I am just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time,” she said in an  interview with Sunday Today (via PEOPLE). “All I want to do is pay tribute to her and meet her requests, you know? Like, ‘Aretha said do this?’ — ‘Yes, ma’am.’”

She added, “Those are huge shoes to fill.”

Prior to her death in August 2018 at age 76 due to pancreatic cancer, Franklin made clear that there was only one person worthy to play her in a biopic: Jennifer Hudson.

“We were in talks a long time about me playing her,” she added, “so I just hope I make her proud [and] do her justice.”

We previously reported.. (according to a press release) the film will follow the rise of 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 Aretha Franklin’s journey to find her voice.

Hudson is joined by a stellar cast of stars including Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy-winner Forest WhitakerMarlon Wayans; Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winner Audra McDonald; Multiple Grammy-winning, and Academy Award and Golden Globe-nominee Mary J. Blige; Marc Maron; Emmy-nominee Tituss Burgess; Tony-nominee  Saycon Sengbloh; Tony-nominee Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, and Skye Dakota Turner.

Directed by Tony-nominee Liesl Tommy “Respect” is the first authorized feature film based on Franklin’s life.

Last month, Hudson was spotted filming the movie in New York City.

“Respect” is slated for theatrical release on Oct. 9, 2020.

Aretha Franklin In Detroit: Pictures Of The Queen Of Soul In Her Hometown
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