Actress and singer Jennifer Hudson is multiple Grammy winner and an Oscar winner, but she’s about to embark on what could be the biggest role of her career. The Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, has hand-selected Hudson to play her in an upcoming biographical film.
Legendary record producer Clive Davis made the casting announcement this weekend at his annual pre-Grammy awards party.
Hudson was one of several artists on hand at the party to perform a few songs, including Franklin’s classic hits “Think” and “Respect.”
Before Hudson took the stage, guests were entertained by Barry Manilow, Luis Fonsi, Ben Platt, Alicia Keys, Khalid, and Logic.
It was an appropriate event for the movie news to be announced, as Davis has worked alongside Franklin for many decades.
Franklin is one of the most respected figures in the music industry now, with a staggering 44 career Grammy nominations.
The new biopic is reportedly based on the singer’s own memoir, Aretha: From These Roots, and will be produced by Scott Bernstein and Harvey Mason.
A film about the life of Aretha Franklin has been in works for years now, with the singer originally favoring Halle Berry for the role.
A flattered Berry turned it down, though, due to her inexperience as a singer and soon Franklin turned her attention to Hudson.
Although Hudson’s casting has only now been confirmed by Davis, she’s been rumored for the role as Franklin since at least 2015.
MGM is the studio handling the Aretha biopic and is said to be moving quickly to find an appropriate screenwriter and director for the project.
Franklin was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received a Presidential Medal of Honor in 2005.
The 75-year-old singer was forced to cancel a handful of shows last year due to health issues but reemerged months later for a performance in Virginia.