Actors Will Need to Audition for Aretha Franklin Movie in Front of Aretha Franklin

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.

Still, the part of Clara Ward — the Queen of Gospel and Franklin's inspiration — has not been cast.

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.

[USA Today]