Amid an outpouring of adoring tributes and remembrances for the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who died at 76 on Thursday, comes news of an unusual dispute centered on the legendary singer that ended in gunfire outside a barbershop in Suffolk, Virginia. The incident took place shortly after the announcement of Franklin's passing, on Thursday morning. Witnesses said that the two men involved were arguing over whether actress Halle Berry played or would play Aretha Franklin in a biopic before things started to get physical and ended in one of the men taking out a gun. The victim is said to be considered in critical condition because of the altercation by the two men that witnesses claim were friends.
The report by Virginia Station WTKR comes as fans mourn the acclaimed gospel singer. The dispute that ended in a shooting didn't come out of thin air, as Aretha Franklin had been planning her own biopic for over 10 years, expressing her desire for Halle Berry to play her. When Berry was asked at the Golden Globes about it, she responded with "someone should tell Aretha that I can't do her justice." The actress claimed because she couldn't sing, the role wouldn't be a good fit for her. The legend maintained her interest to Wendy Williams in 2011, with Berry as her first choice, believing that she could nail the role anyway. Franklin said that she didn't expect her to sing in the film, as many actors who have played singers have lip-synced to original recordings, such as Marion Cotillard's Oscar-winning performance of French singer Edith Piaf in Le Vie en Rose.
In January 2018, powerhouse vocalist Jennifer Hudson was confirmed to take on the on-screen portrayal of the Queen of Soul after being attached to the project since 2015, with Aretha Franklin's full blessing, thus rendering any arguments in favor of Halle Berry taking the role a moot point. The upcoming biopic will be based on the singer's memoir "Aretha: From These Roots." The legend also showed her interest in the casting of Denzel Washington as her father and Terrance Howard as Smokey Robinson while the project has been in development, but no other casting news have been released.
Aretha Franklin has left a magnificent legacy behind in the entertainment industry in music, film, live television and on stage. Best known for her fierce hits such as "Respect," "I Say a Little Prayer" and "Natural Woman," the singer was the first woman to be induced into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, among her many achievements as a soul singer. It's estimated that the vocalist sold over 75 million records worldwide, since gaining traction in the '50s and '60s. Franklin passed on in her home in Detroit just days after news broke that she was gravely ill. As the widely impactful artist stays in the fond memories of fans souls, this upcoming biopic will serve as a tribute to her monumental life.
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