Taylor Hackford Confirmed For Aretha Franklin Biopic

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October 9, 2012 | 8:41pm EST

Ray director Taylor Hackford has signed on to turn soul legend Aretha Franklin’s life story into a big screen biopic.
The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. singer has confirmed Helen Mirren’s husband will tackle her much-anticipated story – and she wants Denzel Washington to play her father, Baptist minister and activist C. L. Franklin, in the film.
She tells Glamour magazine, “He (Hackford) mentioned Denzel first, and I was thinking of Billy Dee (Williams)… and I said ‘Hmm…’ And when I thought about Malcolm X, and what he (Washington) did with that, I said, ‘Yes! He could do it. He could handle it. If he put a little more weight on and glasses, he could handle it.'”
Franklin is still undecided about who should portray her in the film, but she appears to favor newlywed Broadway star Audra McDonald, stating, “We have Jennifer Hudson, we have Halle Berry, and Audra McDonald. That’s the last three. I went to see Audra in Porgy and Bess, and I was very impressed with her dramatic ability. She was terrific.”

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