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

Illustration for article titled 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.

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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.

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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]

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DISCUSSION

I think a good fit for Ms. Aretha is Jill Scott. I love me some Aretha, but Halle Berry is a wrong determination. She has never really had a true idea of what her body looks like and has never really dressed to compliment her shape (even when she was more svelte). Ms. Scott is built more like her and has the acting and voice chops to pull it off.