Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Aretha Franklin Mini Series from Nat Geo Will Have to Follow Jennifer Hudson Motion Picture — Coming January 15, 2021 — Now

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Tomorrow night in the wilds of New Jersey there will be a very important pair of test screenings.

The Aretha Franklin biopic, “Respect,” will be seen by real people for the first time. Starring Jennifer Hudson in what could be an Oscar performance, “Respect” is directed by Liesl Tommy and co-stars Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans, as well as Audra McDonald. The movie covers Aretha’s hit years at Atlantic Records after starting at Columbia.

“Respect” is set for release on January 15th, 2021 from MGM whether theaters are open or not. The cut off date for Oscars eligibility this year is February 28th.

This is a firm date, and a cause of headache for the Aretha National Geographic mini series, “Genius,” starring Cynthia Erivo. Before the pandemic ruined everything, “Genius” was going to come to TV right about now and preface “Respect.” But they shut down production in March and just return this week, according to Deadline. My sources say there are substantial re-shoots and rewrites coming. Insiders who’ve seen early episodes– there are 8– say the show, while looking good, needs more work. “More music,” I was told. Erivo is said to be nonetheless spectacular.

If I were the “Genius” people I’d slow down, do it right, and let “Respect” go first. “Genius” covers Aretha’s whole life. If “Respect” is the hit we anticipate, people will want to see more. And it still could be an Oscar and Emmy year for two different actresses playing the same role.

 

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
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