Hudson, who won an Oscar for her role in 2006's Dreamgirls, opened up on The Kelly Clarkson Show this week about Franklin handpicking the 38-year-old actress to play her in the biopic.
"She's an iconic figure that we all love and respect and admire," Hudson recalled, noting that Franklin went to see her in a production of The Color Purple. "She called me and she was like, 'I made my decision and it is you I want to play me. But don't you tell anyone'... 'Ma'am I won't say a thing. I'll do whatever you tell me to do.'"
She added of the casting, "I'm still in shock."
Franklin passed away in August 2018 at the age of 76, and Hudson performed at her funeral. Respect hits theaters in 2020.