*If negotiations work out, Halle Berry will take on the role of a young Aretha Franklin in an upcoming biopic based on the Queen of Soul’s New York Times best-selling autobiography, “Aretha: From These Roots.”
Franklin today revealed the all-star lineup she has chosen to take on starring roles in the film, pending signed contracts. Denzel Washington will star as her father Rev. C.L. Franklin, the legendary minister, national evangelist, pastor and civil rights leader.
Franklin selected Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard for the role of her life-long friend and music icon Smokey Robinson; Blair Underwood for the role of her brother and long-time manager Cecil Franklin; and Nia Long for the role of her sister, Erma Franklin.
She also chose award-winning gospel singers LaShun Pace and Karen Clark Sheard to take on the roles of members of the world-renowned gospel group, the Ward Singers, with Karen Clark Sheard in the role of Kitty Parham. The Ward Singers greatly influenced Ms. Franklin’s life and career.
Franklin says “the actors are enthusiastic about the project and have agreed to take on these roles subject to further negotiation,” read a statement from her rep.