Aretha Franklin might the the next music icon to have her life portrayed on the silver screen. The Franklin biopic project has been said to be on hiatus for several months now, but according to the 70-year-old industry veteran, the production has resumed once again. "Ray" director Taylor Hackford will also helm the movie, Franklin revealed in a recent interview.
“Oh, yeah. I’m in superb hands with Taylor Hackford. We are fine-tuning the treatment now. The treatment has four acts. He has finished all four,” the Franklin reportedly said. “We’re now reworking some of it where it needs work: ‘A little more drama, tell me something else, what else happened here? We need a little more of this, a little more of that.’”
As for casting, both Hackford and Franklin have narrowed down the top contenders to play Franklin's father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, and the Queen of Soul herself. “And [Hackford] mentioned Denzel, and I said ‘Hmm...’ And when I thought about Malcolm X, and what he did with that, I said, ‘Yes! He could do it," Franklin told a reporter, regarding Hackford's casting suggestion for the role of her father. "He could handle it. If he put a little more weight on and glasses, he could handle it.’”
“We have Jennifer Hudson, we have Halle Berry and Audra McDonald. That's the last three,” added Franklin, listing off her wish list for actress to play her in the biopic. “I went to see Audra in "Porgy and Bess," and I was very impressed with her dramatic ability. She was terrific [...] The question is whether or not Audra can cross over into soul. You know, she does Broadway magnificently. But can she get over into soul is the question."