Jennifer Hudson In Talks To Get The Role Of Aretha Franklin In New Biopic
Aretha Franklin has a meeting about her upcoming biopic, which has been in the works for years. Franklin says she’s heavily involved in the project, including who will play her in the film. Front-runners include Jennifer Hudson and Tony winner Audra McDonald.
“I just try to come up with the names I feel are going to best present this, who are the people that will best present my biopic and what I have in mind,”
the 71-year-old singer said in an interview Thursday with The Associated Press.
AP: Who’s going to be a part of the meeting about your biopic?
Franklin: Mr. (Clive) Davis has gotten in the group and Suzanne de Passe, who co-wrote `Lady Sings the Blues.’ Taylor Hackford, who did … `Ray’ … and the William Morris agent and myself. Those are the principals that will be meeting this weekend.
AP: What do you think about Audra McDonald starring in the film?
Franklin: The question where Audra is concerned is whether or not Audra can get into soul. That would be the question because she has the voice, she has a beautiful instrument. I just wonder how far she can get over into soul.
AP: What about Jennifer Hudson? She has a lot of soul.
Franklin: Jennifer would come up with some good things.
AP: Anyone else?
Franklin: The rest would come out of the producer’s book. People that they want me to listen to that I may not know.
AP: Some people are upset because Zoe Saldana is playing Nina Simone in that biopic and they don’t believe she resembles Simone.
Franklin: I did know Nina and I would have liked to see someone with a little more of a likeness and hopefully played the piano. But I don’t know Ms. Saldana’s work and Hollywood can do a lot of things in terms of changing your features and all of that.
AP: What’s it like to perform for gospel fans?
Franklin: It’s just being me and back at home – that’s it. Just being back on the old campground; that’s how I was brought up. I came up in gospel. Like Johnnie Taylor used to say, `I’m an old gospel singer.’
AP: What are you going to sing?
Franklin: I’m going to sing some things from `Amazing Grace’ and then `One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism.’
AP: Are you working with Babyface on your new album?
Franklin: Clive (Davis) has talked to Face and to Danger Mouse about producing my new CD for RCA. And right now I am just waiting to hear from them to see exactly what they are going to do.
AP: What sound do you want to take on?
Franklin: Well, I’m not producing it. I’m just waiting to see what they come with. … It should be good. As long as it’s good music. I love all music. It’s got to be constructed properly.
AP: I know you’re a fan of Adele, and she’s covered some of your songs. Would you ever do a duet with her?
Franklin: I think it would be good. … She has some great material. I like her material. She’s a very fine writer. (Her songs) were all very original and all very different.