Aretha Franklin may try to quash the debut of a long-buried gospel movie its producer calls “the most important document of American popular music ever filmed.”
“Amazing Grace,” which captures a star-studded gospel service headlined by Franklin in 1972, is scheduled to premiere on opening night of September’s prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. After years of tie-ups, the film’s producer said he has uncovered 1972 documentation that clears the way.
But Franklin and her attorney told the Free Press they’re considering an injunction to halt the film’s release, just as they managed to do four years ago when they sued over image-usage rights.
“What we have here is a case of individuals who are hell-bent on exploiting the name and likeness of a world renowned musical icon, at all costs,” said West Bloomfield attorney Arnold Reed.
Franklin, who will play Chene Park on Saturday, said her beef isn’t with “Amazing Grace” as a piece of work. The film is already one of the most buzzed-about documentaries on the Toronto docket.
“It isn’t that I’m not happy about the film, because I love the film itself,” she said Wednesday. “It’s just that — well, legally I really should just not talk about it, because there are problems.”
She added: “If those problems are not cleared up, you could very well see an injunction.”