Respect Movie

Respect movie poster

The life of Aretha Franklin from singing as a child in her father’s church’s choir to becoming an iconic superstar and civil rights activist.

Who's Involved:

Tate Donovan, Aaron L. Gilbert, Marlon Wayans, Harvey Mason, Hailey Kilgore, Saycon Sengbloh, Kimberly Scott, Forest Whitaker, Tracey Scott Wilson, Mary J. Blige, Sue Baden-Powell, Jason Cloth, Tituss Burgess, Jennifer Hudson, Scott Bernstein, Audra McDonald, Marc Maron, Liesl Tommy, Skye Dakota Turner, Heather Headley, Stacy Sher

Release Date:

Friday, August 13, 2021 (Nationwide)

mature thematic content, strong language including racial epithets, violence, suggestive material, and smoking

Runtime: N/A
Language: English

Plot: What's the story about?

Following the rise of Aretha Franklin’s career from a child singing in her father’s church’s choir to her international superstardom, Respect is the remarkable true story of the music icon’s journey to find her voice.

4.05 / 5 stars (19 users)

Poll: Will you see Respect?

Who stars in Respect: Cast List

... Aretha Franklin

"Sandy Wexler" , "Cats"  

... C.L. Franklin

"Powder Blue" , "Arrival"  

... Ted White

"Naked" , "Behind the Smile"  

... Barbara Franklin

"Beauty and the Beast" , "The Best Thief in the World"  

... Dinah Washington

"Trolls World Tour" , "Body Cam"  

... Jerry Wexler

"Worth" , "What Is Life Worth"  

... Reverend Dr. James Cleveland

"I Hate Kids" , "Dolemite Is My Name"  

... Erma Franklin


... Carolyn Franklin


... John Hammond

"Worth" , "What Is Life Worth"  

... Young Aretha Franklin


... Clara Ward


Who's making Respect: Crew List

A look at the Respect behind-the-scenes crew and production team. The film's director Liesl Tommy last directed Born a Crime.


Liesl Tommy


Tracey Scott Wilson


Scott Bernstein
Harvey Mason
Stacy Sher

Production: What we know about Respect?

Key Facts

  1. With a story by Callie Khouri (Oscar® winner for Writing, Thelma & Louise) and Tracey Scott Wilson, and screenplay written by Tracey Scott Wilson. Wilson and Tommy have worked together creatively since the 2009 play The Good Negro written by Wilson, directed by Tommy at The Public Theatre. Wilson was a writer on FX’s The Americans which garnered her a Peabody Award as well as Emmy® and WGA Award nominations (6/6/2021).
  2. "My dream for the film -- and for Aretha and her legacy -- was to create a piece of cinema that feels like a classic you have to see in a movie theater. You have to see it on a big screen because her life was so big it deserved that." – Liesl Tommy, director of Respect (6/6/2021).
  3. Callie Khouri, who wrote “Thelma & Louise” and is the creator of TV's Nashville, is writing the script (3/9/19).
  4. Dreamgirls star Jennifer Hudson was handpicked by Aretha Franklin to play her before the singer's death (1/11/19).

Filming Timeline

  1. June 2021: The film was in Completed status.
  2. December 2019: The film was in Post-Production status.
  3. January 2019: The film was in Pre-Production status.
  4. Stage director Liesl Tommy is on-board to direct the biopic.

  5. March 2018: The film was in Development status.

Respect Release Date: When was the film released?

Respect was released in 2021 on Friday, August 13, 2021 (Nationwide release). There were 14 other movies released on the same date, including Free Guy, Don't Breathe 2 and Raging Fire.

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