Jennifer Hudson Reacts to Competing Aretha Franklin Project: ‘If It’s Not A Film, It’s Nothing’

Jennifer Hudson (Credit: Deposit Photos)

Jennifer Hudson is offering new details about her Aretha Franklin biopic Respect, along with a bit of opinion about National Geographic’s upcoming limited series on the queen of soul.

Franklin died in 2018. Before she passed away, the music legend gave Hudson her blessing to play her on the big screen.

There’s another Aretha project in the works starring Cynthia Erivo as the music legend in Nat Geo’s Genius: Aretha.

Related Story: ‘Respect’ Trailer: Jennifer Hudson Hits All the Right Notes (Video)

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, when asked about the competing projects, Hudson had this to say: “I know that Aretha was adamant that [her life] be a film. If it’s not a film, it’s nothing. I’m just honored that she picked me to play her. I mean, who can say that? And again, I would have never done it without her wishes.”

The Oscar-winning actress also shared that her relationship with the soul singer continued up until Franklin passed away, something she said she will treasure forever.

“I still have the text chains, so every now and then I look back at them,” she explained of their connection. “The last time I spoke to her was Aug. 8, [2018,] and I can honestly say she sang until her last breath.”

Hudson and Erivo previously worked together on the revival of The Color Purple on Broadway, which earned Erivo a Tony Award.

Respect was set for release in theaters in August 2020, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will now have a limited release in the U.S. on Dec. 25, before its full wide release on Jan. 15, 2021.