During Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party, the former CEO and founder of Arista and J. Records announced two of his closest friends would soon be working together. As Deadline reports, Aretha Franklin hand picked Jennifer Hudson to play her in an upcoming biopic.
“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,” Davis explained. “She stops any and every show she’s in. Her voice is truly incredible.”
This casting choice is fitting as Hudson has a powerful voice that brings a room to a halt with each performance, and she’s won myriad awards for her performance as Effie White in the 2007 film Dreamgirls alongside Beyoncé.
Franklin, who was deemed the Queen of Soul in the early 60s, only a fragment of the way into her career spanning 60 years, would like to pass the torch to Hudson after she stars in the film. One of the most decorated artists in music history, the torch is so much more than a symbol.
At the event, where JAY-Z was also honored for his contributions to music, Hudson performed hits by Franklin such as “Think,” “Rock Steady,” and “Respect,” reminding the crowd why she’s in her position.
According to Deadline, the biopic is set to be developed through MGM. Scott Bernstein, who produced Straight Outta Compton, will be working alongside Harvey Mason Jr., who produced the music for the Dreamgirls film, where Hudson achieved initial film acclaim.There are no dates or an ETA regarding the film’s release yet but with Hudson decided upon, MGM will act quickly to set production in motion.