Respect: Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and Mary J Blige on Board for Singer Aretha Franklin Biopic
Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and Mary J Blige (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Actors Forest Whitaker, Marlon Wayans, and Mary J. Blige have boarded legendary singer Aretha Franklin's biopic Respect, starring Jennifer Hudson as the Queen of Soul. The project hails from MGM and will also feature Broadway star Audra McDonald and Marc Maron in pivotal roles, reported The Wrap. Tituss Burgess, Tate Donovan, Marc Maron, Saycon Sengbloh, Hailey Kilgore, Heather Headley and newcomer Skye Dakota Turner round out the cast. Matrix 4: Gone Girl Actor Neil Patrick Harris on Board for the Keanu Reeves Film

Whitaker, who won a best actor Oscar for his performance in 2006 film "The Last King of Scotland", will portray Franklin's father, a Baptist minister and popular preacher who was unfaithful to his wife. McDonald will play Aretha's mother, Barbara Franklin, while Blige will essay the role of recording artiste Dinah Washington. Tenet: Himesh Patel on Board for Christopher Nolan’s Multi-Starrer

Wayans will portray Ted White, Franklin's abusive first husband. The project will be directed by Tony-nominee Liesl Tommy from a screenplay by Tracey Scott Wilson. Scott Bernstein and Harvey Mason Jr will produce the film which starts production next month.