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Jennifer Hudson of 'Dreamgirls' Spotted for the First Time as Aretha Franklin While Filming 'Respect' Biopic

Monica Otayza
Nov 06, 2019
02:20 A.M.
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Jennifer Hudson was spotted in character as Aretha Franklin as filming for the "Respect" biopic officially began. 


It's officially filming season for the cast of "Respect," and fans were given a glimpse of Hudson and Wayans in action in New York.

The biopic follows Franklin's life in the 1960s and 1970s, touching on her personal life and abusive marriage. 

Jennifer Hudson on-stage | Source: Getty Images/GlobalImagesUkraine


The First Glimpse Into the Movie

The 38-year-old singer transformed into Aretha Franklin while filming in New York City over the weekend, taking fans back to Harlem in 1966 to show a glimpse into the late Queen of Soul's life back then. 

With Hudson on the scene was her co-star and on-screen husband, Marlon Wayans, who plays Aretha's first husband, Ted White, whom she married at the age of 19. 


Awaiting August 2020

At one point in the scene, Wayans' character was seen collecting money from prostitutes while Jennifer looked on from the passenger seat of the car. Another video shows Hudson and Wayans sharing a kiss in the car. 

The "Respect" biopic hits theaters in August 2020, and is directed by Liesl Tommy, who is known for her work in "Jessica Jones" and "The Walking Dead." This is the first time she is directing on the big screen. 


The "Respect" Cast

Along with Hudson and Wayans, Forest Whitaker, Audra McDonald, two-time Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige, Broadway actors Saycon Sengbloh and Hailey Kilgore, Marc Maron, Tate Donavan, Tituss Burgess, and Skye Dakota Turner will play supporting roles on the film.

It was previously revealed that Aretha Franklin herself handpicked Jennifer Hudson to play her in the biopic before her death, which is why the American Idol alum is "humbled" that she was given the opportunity to play the Queen of Soul. 


Featuring Aretha's Songs

The biopic follows Franklin's life in the 1960s and 1970s, touching on her personal life and abusive marriage, featuring her best songs, including  "Respect," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," "You’ve Got a Friend," "Dr. Feelgood," "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," "Spanish Harlem," "Young, Gifted and Black."

It will also feature  "Ain’t No Way," "Precious Lord," "There’s a Fountain Filled With Blood," "Amazing Grace" and "Chain of Fools."