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The Queen has spoken, and she wants the biggest names in black Hollywood to star in her highly anticipated biopic.

Aretha Franklin has been quietly meeting with today’s leading black actors and actresses, including Denzel Washington and Terence Howard, for roles in the film based on her New York Times best-selling autobiography, ‘Aretha: From These Roots,” and she says she’s in the midst of finalizing negotiations.

The 18-time Grammy Award-winning power belter tells BV Newswire, “These actors are enthusiastic about the project and have agreed to take on these roles subject to further negotiation.”

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry is Aretha’s top pick to play her younger self. Berry previously won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for portraying famed actress Dorothy Dandridge in the made-for-television movie ‘Introducing Dorothy Dandridge,’

Denzel Washington, whom the Detroit native visited during his Tony Award-winning run on Broadway in August Wilson’s ‘Fences,’ told Franklin he’s open to playing the role of Franklin’s father, Rev. C.L. Franklin. ‘Law and Order: Los Angeles’ star and Oscar-nominated Terrence Howard agreed to portray her dear friend and former Miracles front man, Smokey Robinson. Nia Long is being asked to play the Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree’s sister, Erma Franklin, and she wants heartthrob Blair Underwood on board to play her brother and longtime manager, Cecil Franklin.

It is fitting that Franklin would seek out the best in gospel music to take on the roles of members of the world-renowned gospel group, the Ward Singers. Karen Clark Sheard and LaShun Pace are being asked to portray the women who most influenced Franklin’s career. – Blackvoices.com

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