Tony-nominated director Liesl Tommy has been tapped to direct the highly anticipated Aretha Franklin biopic Respect that will star Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson.

According to S&A, Respect will follow the “Queen of Soul” from her humble beginning as a singer in her father’s church to becoming one of the greatest voices of the 20th Century. The project will be written by former Nashville creator Callie Khouri.

“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. “As a filmmaker there is no greater gift than to be able to bring this transcendent chronicle of a woman’s fight for self-realization to visual life with the enormous talents of the soulful Jennifer Hudson, Callie Khouri, and our incredible producers.”

Tommy’s credits include directing the Broadway version of Danai Gurira‘s Broadway spectacle Eclipsed as well as the theatrical version of Disney’s Frozen and Trevor Noah‘s Born a Crime. She has also directed popular TV series Queen Sugar and Insecure.

She was born in South Africa and raised in Massachusetts.

RC will keep you posted as this project continues to develop.

Photo Credit: LieslTommy/Instagram

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