Jennifer Hudson Tells Ellen DeGeneres That Playing Aretha Franklin Is Her ‘Dream’ Role

Jennifer Hudson performs onstage at a Q85 concert honoring Quincy Jones
Kevin Winter / Getty Images

After the tragic death of Aretha Franklin in August, Jennifer Hudson sat down on The Ellen DeGeneres Show to discuss her honor to play the late Queen of Soul in an upcoming biopic, shares Fox News. The singer-actress and previous American Idol winner revealed that she is “humbled” to have been selected to play the part, as it has been a life-long goal to portray one of her idols on the screen.

During their conversation, Ellen and Hudson joked about the length of the movie, speculating that it would be long because the famous vocal artist lived a lifetime of a career.

“You’re going to be shooting for seventy years,” Ellen told Hudson.

“I’ll do it, I’ll do it,” replied Jennifer.

In January, Hudson shared an Instagram post announcing her excitement to be playing the star. The post referenced a Rolling Stone article announcing the role. At this time, comments on the post have been disabled.

“And this guys……. I don’t even know what to say…. look at God! #Arethafranklin u have no idea how humbled, I am!” Hudson captioned her post.

USA TODAY gives a little more background on the movie, stating that it is still in very early stages of development. However, the movie’s producer Harvey Mason Jr. says Aretha Franklin chose Hudson to portray her before she passed away. Apparently, she shared her decision with the producer and had even more input in the process than that. Mason seems to keep her wishes at the forefront of the project, as he claimed in an interview.

“Going forward, what will be foremost in my mind is, ‘What would Aretha do here? What would Aretha want here?’ She will always be in the front of my mind as I make decisions on the film,” Mason said to the Detroit Free Press in August.

Mason says that he and Franklin had been close friends for over 10 years and that their collaboration on the movie plans amounted to somewhere around 100 phone calls. However, though the movie was originally scheduled for production in 2019, he says, there is no rush to get it done just because of her recent passing. USA TODAY further states that the movie still needs to gain some rights, and find a director and script before things can really get going.

But one aspect of the movie that is guaranteed is the main actress, Jennifer Hudson. Mason agrees with Franklin’s choice for her portrayal, but makes it clear that Aretha’s choice was going to rule, no matter what.

“They both sing with a lot of emotion. They both sing with a lot of range and power… I think the good thing about Jennifer is that was Aretha’s pick to play her… There was a lot of discussion about a lot of people, but Aretha was adamant that it be Jennifer,” he said.