Jennifer Hudson and Mary J. Blige dazzle in ‘Respect’ trailer


Jennifer Hudson is commanding respect as Aretha Franklin in the new trailer for “Respect,” the biopic in which she plays the late Queen of Soul.

MGM dropped a full teaser trailer Sunday that highlights quick flashes of Franklin’s life and career, including her evolution from the timorous daughter of a Baptist minister to a bona fide music legend and advocate for the civil rights movement.

The trailer, rightly dominated by Oscar winner Hudson, also showcases the star-studded cast, including Forest Whitaker and Audra McDonald as Franklin’s parents, Marlon Wayans as the soul singer’s first husband and manager Ted White, and Marc Maron as legendary producer Jerry Wexler.

A standout in the teaser is Grammy winner and Oscar nominee Mary J. Blige as 1950s jazz star Dinah Washington.

“How many albums have you had?” the glamorous Washington asks a young Franklin.

“Four,” Franklin responds in a hushed tone.

“And no hits,” Washington chides. “Honey, find the songs that move you. Until you do that, you ain’t going nowhere.”


Cue R-E-S-P-E-C-T, as the trailer explodes with Hudson’s portrayal of Franklin, who won 18 Grammy Awards during her storied career.

Before Franklin died in August 2018 at the age of 76, she handpicked the “Dreamgirls” star and “American Idol” alum to portray her in the long-gestating MGM feature film. Hudson also performed “Amazing Grace” at Franklin’s funeral.

The 20th anniversary of the BET Awards featured a host performing in front of a green screen and a protests-fueled update of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.”

June 28, 2020

The new film is helmed by stage director Liesl Tommy and follows Franklin’s journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova. The director has promised it will be “rife with struggle and triumph.”

The film is set to hit theaters on Christmas Day, though there’s no word yet on how its theatrical release might be further affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, the studio pushed back the film’s Oct. 9 release date to December to prop it up for awards contention.