It was already announced that Jennifer Hudson would be leading the Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, but she just got a whole lot of co-stars, according to Deadline. Audra McDonald, who could provide the foundation of a house with all of her Tony Awards, will play Franklin’s mother, Barbara. Marlon Wayans will play the legend’s first husband, Ted White. Forest Whitaker will play Franklin’s father and manager, the Reverend CL Franklin. Mary J. Blige will play fellow legend Dinah Washington. Tituss Burgess joins as “King of Gospel” Reverend Dr. James Cleveland. Broadway performer Skye Dakota Turner will fill the key role of young Aretha. Hailey Kilgore, also a Tony nominee, will play the singer’s sister, Carolyn, with yet another Tony nominee, Saycon Sengbloh, as the older sister, Erma. Tate Donovan and Marc Maron will play producers John Hammond and Jerry Wexler, respectively. So, that’s all very impressive. Liesl Tommy is directing the film in which McDonald and Hudson will be daring Academy voters not to give them Oscars.
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