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Cynthia Erivo Aretha Franklin

Source: Nicky Nelson/; Michael Ochs Archives / WENN and Getty

Whether you think she’s the best fit to play Aretha Franklin or not, Cynthia Erivo is set to star in Genius: Aretha as Aretha Franklin, and the first look at her in costume is not bad at all.

Erivo is starring as the Queen of Soul in the third installment of National Geographic’s anthology TV series, and when word got out that she would have the role, announced after she obtained some criticism for nabbing the role of Harriet Tubman in the recent Kasi Lemmons biopic, people had negative feedback to offer again. But the first photo from the series is out, and Erivo is excited about the portrayal to come.

“And so it begins,” she wrote on Instagram. “Pleased to meet you Ms Aretha.”

Not bad, right?

When asked about the backlash she’s received for agreeing to portray real women, and American women at that as a British actress, Erivo told HipHollywood in October it’s a challenge she embraces.

“It is scary, I guess, to take on one of your heroes — another one of your heroes [laughs], but it’s exciting I guess the idea that I get to be a part of the telling of these people’s lives, these stories, is what I’ve always wanted to do,” she said. “As an actress, you dream of being given the chance to be a part of the telling of rich women’s lives, and that’s what this is and I think I’m just excited to just be able to do that.”

Erivo isn’t the only person playing Franklin in a project on her life currently in the works, though. Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson is presently filming a biopic called RespectThe movie is set to be released in August 2020 and paparazzi have caught images of Hudson in character on set:

Jennifer Hudson shooting scenes from Aretha Franklin biopic Respect outside Rockfeller Plaza in Uptown, Manhattan

Source: WENN/Avalon / WENN

Granted, both women obviously aren’t ringers for the legendary singer, but with the right hair and makeup, they’re not too far off if you ask us. Hit the flip for photos of a young Aretha Franklin and let us know if you think Erivo and Hudson are going to do her justice.

Photo of Aretha FRANKLIN Source: RB / Getty


Aretha Franklin

Source: Express Newspapers / Getty

Soul Singer Candid Moment

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

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