Producer Clive Davis has announced that Jennifer Hudson will be starring as Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic about the Queen of Soul. The Oscar and Grammy winner was apparently handpicked by Franklin herself, according to Davis:
“When the biopic of the great Aretha Franklin is filmed next year, the artist anointed by Aretha herself to play her is the next performer. Aretha personally told me that last week. This artist to us is a transcendent performer. She stops any and every show she’s in. Her voice is truly incredible. When they ask, ‘Where’s the next Aretha, where the next Aretha will come from?’ I say it’s [Hudson]. She’s in the studio right now recording what I hope will be a classic album… she’s in the tradition of Adele, she’s a singer’s singer.”
Davis has quite the professional relationship with both stars, as he recruited Franklin to Arista Records in 1980, and signed Hudson after she finished 7th during American Idol‘s 3rd season. He has referred to Hudson as “the next generation’s Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston.”
Deadline reports that a bipoic has been quietly in production for a while at MGM, with Straight Out of Compton’s Scott Bernstein attached to produce. Harvey Mason Jr.—who worked with Hudson on the 2006 film Dreamgirls (a film that earned her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress)—is also set to produce. MGM has yet to announce a filmmaker and writers for the film.
Do you think Jennifer Hudson is right for the role of such an iconic artist like Aretha Franklin? Check out her tribute to her during the 2011 Grammy Awards, and let us know in the comments below!