〉Hudson won an Oscar for portraying a fictional 1960’s-era R&B singer in Dreamgirls
Jennifer Hudson, who won an Oscar for her role in Dreamgirls, is set to once again take center stage as iconic singer Aretha Franklin in a biopic chronicling the famed musician’s rise to fame. The pic, which is currently untitled, will see Hudson portraying Franklin in her transition from gospel singer to mainstream artist in the early sixties to mid-seventies.
The film will also explore the Queen of Soul’s interpersonal relationships, most notably how her abusive husband and autocratic father helped inspire and shape her epochal music during that time. Universal Pictures executive and prolific producer Scott Bernstein is spearheading the project, having acquired Franklin’s life rights.
Franklin needs no introduction, having won a total of eighteen Grammy Awards and sold over seventy-five million records worldwide, earning her place amongst the top best-selling female musicians of all time.
The honored vocalist, perhaps best known for her hit anthem “Respect” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and placed first on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time list.
Franklin has received countless accolades, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and still tours today, enduring a lasting legacy as a pioneer, inspiration, and universally beloved artist.
Hudson is the perfect choice to honor the life of the esteemed singer, having burst onto the scene with her incredible, Academy Award-winning performance in Bill Condon’s musical Dreamgirls. The burgeoning singer/actress went on to star in The Secret Life of Bees, Sex and The City, Think Like A Man, and, most recently, the drama Lullaby. Hudson also appeared on Fox’s breakout hit series Empire, and will likely return for season two.
Bernstein has overseen production on a number of Universal’s hits, including Accepted, Role Models, Death Race, Mama, Identity Thief, and Ride Along. As well as overseeing Guillermo Del Toro’s Gothic horror Crimson Peak for the studio, Bernstein also produced the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton, which centers on the influential rap group featuring Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E, and hits theaters this weekend. Currently, he’s at work producing a sequel to the Ice Cube/Kevin Hart comedy Ride Along, which Universal debuted a trailer for today.
Hudson is repped by CAA and Azoff MSG Entertainment.
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Clark Allen | Associate Editor
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