R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Check out Jennifer Hudson as Aretha Franklin in new film

The Oscar winner pays tribute to the Queen of Soul in biopic teaser.

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/ Source: TODAY
By Ree Hines

Playing the part of a beloved singer, songwriter, soul icon and activist is a reach for any star, but actually stepping up to the mic and channeling a legend like the late Aretha Franklin would be out of reach for most.

But not for Jennifer Hudson.

In a 44-second clip that came out Friday, Hudson stands on a dimly lit stage in a sparkling dress and sings the opening lyrics to the Otis Redding song that Aretha Franklin made her own. When she spells out the unforgettable title, "R-E-S-P-E-C-T," the word lights up behind her and the music swells.

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Despite its brevity, the intense teaser proves the star has what it takes to bring Franklin to life on the big screen.

Seeing double: Soul singer Aretha Franklin in 1963 alongside Jennifer Hudson (as Franklin) in 2019.Getty Images

Hudson recently spoke about her experience channeling Franklin for the film when she sat down with Sunday TODAY's Willie Geist.

"Those are huge shoes to fill, but I am just taking it one step at a time, one day at a time," she said. "All I want to do is pay tribute to her and meet her requests. 'Aretha said do this? Yes, ma'am.'"

While the Queen of Soul passed away more than a year ago, the film had been in the works before then. Years ago, Hudson had the chance to meet her idol, and Franklin personally selected her for the biopic.

"We were in talks a long time about me playing her," the 38-year-old said. "So I just hope I make her proud, do her justice."

Jennifer Hudson performs at the funeral for Aretha Franklin at the Greater Grace Temple on August 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. Franklin, 76, died at her home in Detroit on August 16. Scott Olson / Getty Images

The trailer isn't the first time Hudson has honored Franklin. The actress-singer belted out a powerful rendition of "Amazing Grace" at Franklin’s 2018 funeral.

On Friday, Hudson tweeted out the “Respect” teaser, and if her happy followers on social media are any indication, then potential viewers can’t wait to see the film. While the exact release date hasn’t been announced yet, "Respect" isn’t expected to hit theaters until fall 2020.

However, fans of the "American Idol" contestant-turned-superstar don’t have to wait that long to see her on the big screen.

She’s one of the fur-covered leads in the musical “Cats,” which is now playing in theaters nationwide.