Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles were both in The Blues Brothers, but they’re about to be connected in a different cinematic way. According to Cinema Blend, Taylor Hackford (the writer/director of the Charles biopic Ray) is set to direct a film about Franklin’s life. Now the question becomes whether the actress playing her will also have to recreate her diner-set scene in The Blues Brothers in a meta move celebrating the singer’s acting career. If she hangs out with Charles on the set of the set, things will get even more confusingly self-referential.

Hackford is an inspired (and sort of obvious) choice, but the main difficulty here remains finding an actress who can handle the emotion and vocally portray perhaps the greatest female singer of the 20th century. The option is there to use recordings, but there’s something about that method that dulls the impact as much as an actor not quite meeting the singer’s talents. Franklin herself tossed out a wish list populated by Halle Berry, Jennifer Hudson and five-time Tony award winner Audra McDonald. She also suggested Denzel Washington for the role of her Baptist preacher father.

It may be a challenge to fill her vocal chords, but at least they’re on the right track. Hopefully the project will gain traction and find the money to bring in the talent required. Something tells me it needs a cheerleader to bring in the resources (studio or otherwise) that will ensure that it plays at the top level instead of coming off like a movie of the week. Maybe that comes from years of hearing about it as a possibility, but Hackford’s presence melts the cynicism a bit. Here’s hoping for the best.

Like this article? Join thousands of your fellow movie lovers who subscribe to The Weekly Edition from Film School Rejects. Our best articles, every week, right in your inbox!
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3