Tony-nominated director will direct 'Respect'

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The Aretha Franklin movie has found its director. 

Deadline.com reports Liesl Tommy, who was nominated for a Tony Award for the 2016 production of "Eclipsed," will helm the project, which has been titled "Respect."

Academy Award-winner Jennifer Hudson ("Dreamgirls") will star as Franklin in the film, which will cover the Queen of Soul's early years singing in her father's church choir and becoming a recording superstar. 

“The story of Aretha Franklin’s journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova is rife with struggle and triumph, making her life one of the great American stories of all time," Tommy said in a statement.

Callie Khouri, who wrote "Thelma & Louise" and created the TV series "Nashville," will pen the script. 

No details on the movie's filming schedule or release date have been announced. 

In other Aretha Franklin movie news, "Amazing Grace" (see our review here), the documentary that captures Franklin's legendary 1972 performance at New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, has been picked up by distribution company Neon and is slated to be released in early 2019. No date has been set. 

agraham@detroitnews.com

@grahamorama

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