The film had originally been scheduled to premiere in August 2020 but was first pushed back to January 2021 at the start of the pandemic

By Claudia Harmata
October 28, 2020 10:48 AM
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Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin
| Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert

Jennifer Hudson's highly anticipated film, Respecthas been delayed once again.

On Tuesday, MGM announced that it would be pushing back the premiere of the upcoming biopic about Aretha Franklin until August 2021. The film had originally been scheduled to premiere in August 2020 but was first pushed back to January 2021 at the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Directed by Liesl Tommy, Respect tracks Franklin’s life as she goes from a child singing in her father’s church choir to an international superstar. Franklin actually hand-picked Hudson, 39, to portray her onscreen before her death in 2018.

MGM premiered the official trailer for the film in June, after Hudson's performance of "Young, Gifted and Black" at the virtual BET Awards. The video gives fans a glimpse of Hudson as the Queen of Soul, from her electrifying stage performances to her work and impact on the Civil Rights movement.

"You got to disturb the peace when you can’t get no peace," Hudson says as Franklin in the teaser.

Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin
| Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert

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Speaking to PEOPLE earlier this year about the film and her relationship with Franklin, Hudson said she still feels the late star's presence.

"I still feel like she's in me, I really do," she said of Franklin. "I just hope to meet her requests. You think you respect Aretha, but once you see the film and you learn her story, you can't help but to have a newfound respect for her."

She also recalled the first time she ever opened for the late singer, in April of 2003.

"Back in April 2003, I got to open up for her in Merrillville, Indiana, where she held a concert. That was before Dreamgirls, before I ever dreamed of playing her one day," Hudson said. "I've gotten to pay tribute to her many times since then, but every time is like the first time."