Jennifer Hudson Handpicked by Aretha Franklin to Play Her in a New Biopic

Just recently, America’s biggest stars in music turned out for Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy party, as they do every year. This year, however, they were treated to a special surprise. Davis welcomed Oscar- and Grammy-winner Jennifer Hudson to the stage to sing and announced to the audience that she would be playing the legendary Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic, according to Deadline.
Anyone could see that Hudson is the obvious choice for the role, but it wasn't just anyone who cast her in the part. Franklin handpicked Hudson for the role herself.
"When the biopic of the great Aretha Franklin is filmed next year, the artist anointed by Aretha herself to play her is the next performer. Aretha personally told me that last week," Davis said. "This artist to us is a transcendent performer. She stops any and every show she's in. Her voice is truly incredible. When they ask, 'Where's the next Aretha, where the next Aretha will come from?' I say it's [Hudson]. She's in the studio right now recording what I hope will be a classic album... she's in the tradition of Adele, she's a singer's singer."
The two have known each other for years. They were photographed (along with Janelle Monae, NBD) backstage at the 2014 BET Honors in Washington, DC:

Then, a year later, the two shared another photo op backstage at the Broadway musical The Color Purple in New York City:


The Franklin biopic is being produced by MGM, but not many details about the film are available. Deadline reports that MGM will move quickly to lock down a director and writer for the project now that Hudson is attached.
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