Aretha Franklin is taking a very hands-on approach with the movie being made about her life: She approved a story treatment based on her memoir, has commissioned a script, and is negotiating with directors and producers. And, as USA Today reports, the Queen of Soul has started casting — she is looking for actors.
Franklin's wish list includes Audra McDonald, Nia Long, Kerry Washington and Blair Underwood. She'd previously said she would like Halle Berry to play her as a young woman. When Halle Berry said something like (paraphrasing here) "Oh that's sweet but I don't sing," Franklin merely stared at her wordlessly, like, nuh-uh, you do not turn down the Queen" (at least that's what it sounds like). Franklin also said: "There are a number of other leading ladies out there that can definitely handle the role." Anyway, seems like Audra McDonald just might be the one.
But can you imagine anything more terrifying than being in a room with Aretha Franklin, auditioning for a part in an Aretha Franklin movie? The. Pressure.
Anyway, Ms. Franklin's people claim the flick will be:
"an epic tale with probably the most starring and supporting roles since Roots."
So, do what you must to prepare.