Jennifer Hudson-Starring Aretha Franklin Biopic Finds Director

Liesl Tommy - Publicity - H 2019
Lelund Durand

Liesl Tommy will direct 'Respect' for MGM.

The long-gestating Aretha Franklin biopic starring Jennifer Hudson has found a director.

Liesl Tommy, the first black woman to earn a Tony Award nomination for best direction of a play, will helm Respect for MGM, with Nashville creator Callie Khouri penning the script.

The movie will follow Franklin's rise, from her beginnings in her father's choir, to her assent to the Queen of Soul.

Tradecrafts' Scott Bernstein (Straight Outta Compton) and Harvey Mason, Jr., a music producer who has worked with both Hudson and Franklin, will produce. Jonathan Glickman and Adam Rosenberg are overseeing the project on behalf of the studio.

Tommy's screen credits include episodes of AMC's The Walking Dead, HBO's Insecure and OWN's Queen Sugar. She is also attached to direct the adaptation of Trevor Noah's memoir, Born a Crime. She is repped by WME and MGMT.

Khouri, who is behind the screenplays for Thelma and Louise and the Divine Secrets of the Yah-Yah Sisterhood, is repped by UTA and Jackoway Austen.