“Respect” Moves Out Of This Year’s Awards Season


Another one bites the dust, folks. Insert your own joke here about this movie not being able to get any Oscar respect, but we’ve lost a new awards player, folks. Yes, Respect is officially moving even further into the 2021 cycle, removing it from Academy Award contention here in this unique 2020 season. Obviously, it could still be a contender next year, but cross it off of this year’s life. The Aretha Franklin biopic, which stars Jennifer Hudson as the legendary singer, now becomes the latest victim of COVID-19 and the theatrical experience largely being on pause in the major markets. Read on for more…

According to Variety, MGM has changed their January 15th release date to August 13th. Starring Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin, the movie had already abandoned an August release date here in 2020, so it’ll be nearly a year delay when all is said and done here. Of course, considering how Franklin herself decided to cast Hudson, this will be a big deal whenever it ultimately comes out. Even in 2021, it should be up for awards consideration.

Here’s a bit from the report:

MGM has delayed “Respect,” the Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson, by seven months from Jan. 15 to Aug. 13 in the latest shuffle of a major title amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The studio also announced Tuesday that it has removed “Tomb Raider 2,” starring Alicia Vikander, from its March 19 release date.

“Respect,” titled after Franklin’s 1967 hit, had originally been scheduled to be released in August of this year but was shifted at the start of the pandemic to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Hudson, who won a supporting actress Oscar for “Dreamgirls,” was personally selected for the role by Franklin before Franklin died in 2018 at the age of 76.

Franklin won 17 Grammys, starting with “Respect” in 1968 and “Chain of Fools” in 1969. The film, directed by Liesl Tommy, also stars Forest Whitaker as C.L. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as Ted White, Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington and Tituss Burgess as Rev. Dr. James Cleveland.

Stage director Tommy boarded the film earlier last year. Tommy received six Tony Award nominations for her play “Eclipsed” in 2016, including best director. Callie Khouri, who wrote “Thelma & Louise” and is the creator of “Nashville,” wrote the screenplay for “Respect,” which follows the rise of Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church choir to a superstar.

Stay tuned for more…

(Source: Variety)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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