Mary J. Blige has been added to to the A-list cast of the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect.
The R&B singer, who picked up a Golden Globe nod and Oscar nomination for her role in 2017 drama Mudbound, will join Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, Audra McDonald and Tituss Burgess in the movie, which will star Jennifer Hudson as the late Queen of Soul.
Respect director Liesl Tommy is raving about the final cast for the movie, which will depict the late soul legend’s career from her days as a child singing in her father’s choir to international stardom.
“I am thrilled with the incredibly talented cast we have assembled for our film, and I’m so proud that Ms. Franklin entrusted us to tell her story and to share it with the world,” the filmmaker tells Deadline, noting producers worked with Franklin on crafting the movie before her death. “As a storyteller, hers is the kind of story we all dream of telling. Her music has inspired me since I was a little girl, and the milestones of her life and career have shown us all how to strive and thrive.
“To have this powerhouse group of actors – and the phenomenal talent of Jennifer Hudson in this iconic role – means we have the chance of making this film as transcendent as her glorious life and legacy.”
Aretha passed away last year, aged 76.
Respect will begin filming on 1 November and is slated for release in theatres next summer.