Wright Museum of African American History in September. The screening was deeply emotional, says Whittley, who came on to the project as a producer in 2012. With the family’s stamp of approval, Whittley and his team decided to surge forward and get the film in front of audiences as quickly as possible.
“The time is right now,” he says.
Following Monday’s screening in New York, the film will be rolled out for weeklong runs in New York in Los Angeles in order to qualify for considWhittley
Aretha in Thanksgiving Day Parade, in spirit
The Queen of Soul will be at the 92nd America’s Thanksgiving Parade in spirit. Members of Aretha Franklin’s family have been invited to participate in her honor, along with the Cass Tech High School Marching Band, Detroit’s Parade Company announced Thursday. Other celebrities will include Baseball Hall of Famer and former Detroit Tiger Jack Morris, Olympic snowboarder Kyle Mack, Olympic ice dancers Maia and Alex Shibutani and 2018 Boston Marathon winner Desiree Linden, who’s from Washington Township. Bay City native Korie Lee Blossey, starring in Disney’s “Aladdin” next month at the Detroit Opera House, will also perform. eration for this year’s Academy Awards. And then there’s Detroit. “We have to do Detroit as big as possible,” says Whittley, who says the film could make it here by the end of the year. “New York is going to be great, and if we do something in L.A., that’s going to be wonderful. But Detroit is where we have to make the biggest impact.”
While the film currently lacks a distributor, Whittley and his team are marching forward regardless.
“Everything about this, thus far, has been untraditional,” he says. “But the movie stands on its own.”
says he’s received requests from around the world to screen the film — there’s been interest in Japan, Amsterdam, China, England and more, he says — but he knows the film’s screenings in Aretha’s hometown will be special.
“Don’t worry,” he says. “Detroit will be like nothing you’ve ever seen.”