Hudson wrote the song alongside Carole King, the mastermind behind Aretha Franklin’s famous “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.”
“Here I Am” will be included on the movie’s soundtrack along with other songs from Hudson as a reimagined Franklin. The track will be up as a possible Best Song nominee for the Oscars next March.
The film, which will serve as the directorial debut of Tony Award-nominated Liesl Tommy, was originally supposed to hit the big screen in the fall of 2020 before getting derailed.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and movie theaters closing everywhere, the flick was first bumped to December, then January, to eventually the current release date in August.
The official trailer for the film dropped in May, showing a sneak peek at Hudson taking on her character as the Queen of Soul. We also get a glimpse into performances of Franklin’s classic hits, of course including the titular track “Respect.”
Hudson isn’t the only big name on the cast list—other stars you’ll see in the film include Forest Whitaker as Aretha’s father, C.F. Franklin, Marlon Wayans as ex-husband Ted White, Saycon Sengbloh and Hailey Kilgore as sisters Erma and Carolyn Franklin, Mary J. Blige as Dinah Washington, and many more notable names.
Hudson previously spoke about the journey of the movie, which was filmed in Atlanta, noting that holding off on the release date was the right move.
“What better way to go back to the theaters than through the Queen of Soul?” the Academy Award winning actress asked. “We can all come together. Your children love her. Your mom loves her, your grandparents...Take the family. It’s something we’ve all been waiting for, including myself, not only to share with the world, but for everyone to see. It’s a perfect film and a perfect way to get back to the theater.”
Respect marks the Dreamgirls actress’ first role as executive producer in a studio film, and is set to premiere on August 13.