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‘Respect’: Read The Screenplay For Aretha Franklin Biopic That Explores How She Became The Queen Of Soul

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Editors note: Deadline’s Read the Screenplay series debuts and celebrates the scripts of films that will be factors in this year’s movie awards race.When it came to encapsulating the epic life, prodigious talent and seismic impact of the iconic Aretha Franklin, the creative team behind Respect had a massive tapestry from which to draw.

But the challenge was exactly which aspects of the Queen of Soul’s enormous legacy should be given sharp focus?“We wanted to have an arc,” said screenwriter Tracey Scott Wilson, who crafted the story in close collaboration with her longtime collaborator, director Liesl Tommy. “We weren’t trying to create Aretha Franklin as she was, larger than life; we were trying to see how she came to be that.

So it was about a 10-year-old girl named Aretha… as opposed to trying to show the world the Aretha they think they know.”Even before Scott and Tommy’s involvement, the film’s lengthy development period stretched back years, prior to Franklin’s passing in 2018, and the R&B diva had an active hand in helping the producers zero in on the aspects of her life she thought formed the essence of her story, as well as handpicking Jennifer Hudson to play her.“We worked with Ms.

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