Jennifer Hudson to visit Detroit this weekend for 'Respect' promotional tour

Jennifer Hudson is on her way to Detroit as part of the promotional tour for "Respect," the Aretha Franklin biopic that opens in theaters on Aug. 13. 

Jennifer Hudson stars as Aretha Franklin and Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington in "Respect."

Hudson and director Liesl Tommy will be on hand Sunday afternoon at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History for an event that is billed as "A Celebration and Conversation" tied to the film. The event is private, and will be followed later in the day by a private screening of the film.

The Detroit Historical Museum on Woodward Avenue also will debut a new exhibit featuring costumes from the film along with mementos from the Queen of Soul herself that opens to the public at 1 p.m. Sunday. It will stay in place through the end of August.

The exhibit, appropriately called "Respect," will feature roughly 6 costumes from the movie, along with accessories and shoes. It will also include some items from the museum's own collection, including a sparkly cape that belonged to Franklin.

"Most of them are Aretha costumes," said Rebecca Salminen Witt, chief strategy and marketing officer at the Detroit Historical Society. "We do have a couple that were for backup dancers."

Salminen Witt said United Artists MGM studio reached out to the museum more than a year ago about the costumes and they decided it would be fun to create an exhibit timed around the new movie.

"It’s wonderful," said Salminen Witt. "Pop culture is one of the things that Detroiters really love. This museum is all about creating memories for people. And sort of touching part of the heartstrings that helps them relate to their own history. Having something that is this beautiful and connected to a major movie and bring them into the musuem, it’s great."

The museum also plans to unveil a set of Franklin's handprints, cast in concrete, in its Legends Plaza on Woodward. They were made in 2017.

A Franklin mural, meanwhile, designed by Detroit artist Desiree Kelly, and light-up letters that spell out the word RESPECT (by Detroit's Prop Art Studio), were installed last weekend and are currently on display outside the museum. 

A mural by Desiree Kelly is outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History to promote 'Respect,' the movie about Aretha Franklin's life which opens in theaters on Aug. 13, 2021. Photos taken in Detroit on July 25, 2021.

"Respect" will hold public previews on Aug. 8 at 500 theaters nationwide; local theaters showing the film include AMC Livonia, Ann Arbor 20 + IMAX, AMC Star John R in Madison Heights and AMC Star Gratiot in Clinton Township.

Outside the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, illuminated letters spell out 'RESPECT' and were made by Prop Art Studio in Detroit. The letters and a mural are to promote 'Respect,' the movie about Aretha Franklin's life which opens in theaters on Aug. 13, 2021. Photos taken in Detroit on July 25, 2021.

agraham@detroitnews.com