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Video still from 'Top Girls' interview with Liesl Tommy via YouTube.

South African Director Liesl Tommy Is Set to Helm Aretha Franklin Biopic, 'Respect'

MGM Pictures is moving ahead on the film chronicling the Queen of Soul's life.

South Africa's Liesl Tommy, the director of Eclipsedthe first Broadway play featuring an all-black, all-women cast—has been tapped to direct MGM Pictures' Aretha Franklin biopic, Ebony reports.


In Respect, the film will chronicle the life of the Queen of Soul starring Jennifer Hudson, who Franklin picked to portray her in the film before she passed away from pancreatic cancer in August 2018 at 76.

Callie Khouri, writer of Thelma & Louise and the creator of Nashville, has been tapped to write the screenplay of the film, following the rise of Franklin's career from being a choir kid at her father's church to the superstar we all know, Variety adds. Scott Berntein of Tradecraft and Harvey Mason Jr., producer and songwriter for both Franklin and Hudson, will be the producers of the film.

"The story of Aretha Franklin's journey from child prodigy in Detroit to international supernova is rife with struggle and triumph, making her life one of the great American stories of all time," Tommy says in a statement. "As a filmmaker there is no greater gift than to be able to bring this transcendent chronicle of a woman's fight for self-realization to visual life with the enormous talents of the soulful Jennifer Hudson, Callie Khouri, and our incredible producers."

Tommy is a six-time Tony Award nominee for Eclipsed, as she was also in the running for "Best Director," making her the first black woman to earn such a nomination. She is set to direct the film adaptation of Trevor Noah's autobiography, Born A Crime, starring Lupita Nyong'o.

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Photo: YouTube Screenshot

Watch Focalistic & Vigro Deep’s New Music Video For ‘Ke Star’

The 'Lockdown Level 1 anthem' has come to life through fire visuals.

South African artist Focalistic has released a music video to accompany his hit single, "Ke Star" featuring Vigro Deep.

The rising artist continues solidifying his place with his effortless skill of blending his hip-hop roots with a love for amapiano.

South Africans certainly loved it enough to let it into their homes. Social media users quickly began sharing videos of themselves dancing away their lockdown woes to "Ke Star," helping share the track all over the world.

Directed by Steezus in Focalistic's childhood stomping ground, Ga-Rankuwa, Zone 2, the artist mentions: "The video was to try to explain the song in its fullest form and more importantly tell a genuine South African story. We're pushing a movement and there has to be visual representation." He certainly is representing the nation with pride.


Watch the music video for "Ke Star" here.


Focalistic Ke Star (Official Music Video) ft Vigro Deep www.youtube.com

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