Aretha Franklin's family has made it clear they did not want a new biopic about the beloved Queen of Soul to see the light of day.
The family did not support the much-hyped Genius: Aretha series, which debuted on National Geographic on Sunday evening, March 21.
Cynthia Erivo, pictured with Aretha in 2015, earned critical praise for her role as the Queen of Soul in Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' new eight-part project, but Aretha's granddaughter said it's full of fiction.
"This movie has to go," she said in a new TikTok video. "As the immediate family, we feel that it's important to be involved with any biopic of my grandma's life, as it's hard to get any accurate depiction of anyone's life without speaking to the ones closest to them."
She said the family has "been disrespected and told we will not be worked with. As the immediate family - emphasis on immediate - we do not support this film and we ask that you also do not support this film, as we feel extremely disrespected, and we feel there will be many inaccuracies about my grandmother's life."
Her father and Aretha's son, Kecalf Franklin, supported his daughter, telling Rolling Stone, "What we've found out in the past is that usually when people don't want to work with you, that is a prelude to some type of unprofessional behavior or a prelude to some type of untruth or slander... That's usually the case when people say that they don't want to work with you."
Genius: Aretha chronicles the soul legend's rise to the top from her roots as a teenage single teenage mom in Alabama.
National Geographic bosses acknowledged they made no contact with Franklin's family while making the series, but they still insist the biopic was thoroughly researched.
The Franklin family is working with the producers of Respect, the new Aretha Franklin biopic starring Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson, which is slated to hit theaters this summer.
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Janet Jackson fans never get tired of watching documentaries devoted to their idol.
A major documentary is planned to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Jackson's debut album.
Jackson is the latest pop superstar to get the documentary treatment - Lifetime and A&E bosses in the U.S. will simulcast a new four-hour film, tentatively titled Janet, across two nights in 2022.
The documentary will chronicle her "musical success as well as her tumultuous private life", according to a press release obtained by WENN.com.
The reclusive superstar will discuss her controversial 2004 Super Bowl appearance with Justin Timberlake, when she flashed a breast, and the death of her pop icon brother, Michael Jackson.
Deadline sources claim bosses at British production company Workerbee have been filming Jackson for over three years and have been granted exclusive access to archival footage, which will appear in the film.
Keri Hilson and Deborah Joy Winans stars in TV One's new, original movie "Don't Waste Your Pretty" premiering Sunday, February 28 at 8 PM/7C
"Don't Waste Your Pretty" follows a group of tightly knit friends as they sort out their turbulent life issues and love lives - always turning to one another to figure out their next move when jobs, romance or family interactions prove more complicated than they had ever anticipated.
Directed by Tamara Bass and written by Katrina O'Gilvie, the film is based on the eponymous novel penned by award-winning author and media personality Demetria L. Lucas.
Don't Waste Your Pretty also stars Redaric Williams ("The Yard"), Jasmine Burke ("Saints & Sinners"), Kaye Singleton ("American Soul") and Rainey Branch ("Being Mary Jane").
Watch the trailer below.
Talk show host Wendy Williams executive produces the biopic on her life, revealing the highs and lows she has experienced throughout the years.
Wendy has made herself the go-to source for great celebrity dish on her hit talk show, The Wendy Williams Show, but recently the spotlight has turned towards her. The authorized project provides a revealing look at Wendy's journey, from her scrappy upstart days in urban radio to the success of her own syndicated talk show.
Despite all the naysayers and obstacles Wendy encountered throughout her life, her strength and determination have allowed her to thrive. Ciera Payton takes on the lead role while Morocco Omari stars as Wendy's ex-husband, Kevin Hunter.
Produced by Front Street for Lifetime and executive produced by Wendy Williams, Will Packer and Sheila Ducksworth. Darren Grant directs from a script written by Leigh Davenport and Scarlett Lacey.
Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on January 30, 2021 at 8/7C on Lifetime.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Fox 21 Television Studios released a first-look photo of British actress Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.
The studio released a photo that shows Erivo, 32, seated at a piano in a scene from Genius: Aretha, the upcoming biographical series from National Geographic.
Tony Award winner Erivo is best known for her portrayal of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The movie Harriet is in theaters now.
Erivo will play Aretha in the third installment of the "Genius" series.
Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty
Franklin died of natural causes at age 76 at her home in Detroit, Michigan on August 16, 2018. She is pictured above in 1968.
Erivo told Deadline.com she has been preparing herself for the role over the last few months.
"I've been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from re-listening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha's attitude and spirit. I'm truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we'll serve the Queen and create something special."
Also featured in the cast is actor Courtney B. Vance, 59, who plays Aretha's father, Rev. C. L. Franklin.
Vance is married to actress Angela Bassett, 61. He is best known for his role in The Preacher's Wife (1996), alongside the late singer Whitney Houston.
NeNe Leakes will make a cameo appearance in MTV's How High 2, starring rapper Lil Yachty. The TV movie is the sequel to MTV's hit comedy How High, starring rappers Redman and Method Man.
Read more »