In yet another signal that studios are not yet finished with their schedule-shuffling due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MGM announced today that they are postponing the release of their Aretha Franklin biopic, Respect, to August 13, 2021. Originally scheduled to be released in August of this year, the expected awards contender had been moved to January before now being pushed off yet again.
The January position still meant the Jennifer Hudson vehicle would have been in prime position to compete for the Oscars, now being held in April, but this move to August means it is out of contention for this year and its awards potential for next year even more in doubt.
There had been a lot of anticipation around the project, not only with Oscar-winner Hudson attached, but the fact that Franklin herself had hand-picked the Dreamgirls star to play her before her death in 2018.
Tony Award-nominated stage director Liesl Tommy makes her feature film directorial debut, with the screenplay written by Oscar-winning Thelma & Louise scribe Callie Khouri, along with Tracey Scott Wilson. Respect will be Khouri’s first feature film script since 2002’s The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Respect 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.
See the full story here from Variety and look for Respect later on in 2021.