Aretha Franklin Biopic ‘Respect’ Pushed Back For Christmas Day Opening

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Jennifer Hudson’s Aretha Franklin biopic “Respect” has been pushed back from its October 9 release for a limited Christmas Day debut.

According to Deadline, from there, the film will expand January 8 with a wide theatrical release January 15, which is MLK weekend.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, “Respect” follows Franklin’s life from her early days singing in her father’s church to becoming a music legend.

Hudson co-stars in the film with Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Tituss Burgess, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Tate Donovan, Heather Headley, Skye Dakota Turner, and Mary J. Blige.

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Hudson previously said she hopes to make Aretha “proud” with her portrayal of the late music icon.

“I just hope I make her proud [and] do her justice,” Hudson told Sunday Today. “I am just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time. 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 from pancreatic cancer at age 76, Franklin handpicked Hudson for the role.

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“We were in talks a long time about me playing her,” Hudson said in an interview with Sunday Today (via PEOPLE). “So I just hope I make her proud [and] do her justice.”

In 2018, the “American Idol” winner sang “Amazing Grace” at Franklin’s funeral.

Last month, Hudson hit up social media and revealed she was  “overwhelmed” with emotion after wrapping production on the biopic.

“It is officially a wrap on @respectmovie wrap it up, it’s done!” she posted on Instagram. “Too overwhelmed to get into it right now but words can’t express how grateful I am to be chosen by the queen herself and to live out yet another dream! It was my honor, to honor the Queen’s request! The one and only Queen of Soul.”

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