Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans join cast of Aretha Franklin biopic - The Sauce
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Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans join cast of Aretha Franklin biopic

Forest Whitaker and Marlon Wayans have joined the cast of the Aretha Franklin biopic ‘Respect’.

American musician Aretha Franklin performs on stage at the Park West Auditorium, Chicago, Illinois, March 23, 1992. (Photo by Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

The pair are set to star alongside Jennifer Hudson – who will play the late Queen of Soul – in the upcoming movie which will follow Aretha’s rise to fame in the 1960s and 1970s and will also show her abusive marriage to Ted White, who she married when she was just 19.

Whitaker, 58, will play Franklin’s Baptist minister and preacher father who was unfaithful to his wife, while Wayans, 47, is set to star as White.

Audra McDonald, Mary J. Blige, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Marc Maron, Tate Donavan and Tituss Burgess are also set to star in the biopic, which will be directed by Liesl Tommy.

Newcomer Skye Dakota Turner – who appeared on Broadway as Young Anna Mae in ‘Tina: The Tina Turner Musical’ – will portray a young Aretha.

Liesl said: “I am thrilled with the incredibly talented cast we have assembled for our film, and I’m so proud that Ms. Franklin entrusted us to tell her story and to share it with the world. As a storyteller, hers is the kind of story we all dream of telling. Her music has inspired me since I was a little girl, and the milestones of her life and career have shown us all how to strive and thrive.

“To have this powerhouse group of actors – and the phenomenal talent of Jennifer Hudson in this iconic role – means we have the chance of making this film as transcendent as her glorious life and legacy.”

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