Soul legend Aretha Franklin still wants Halle Berry to consider portraying her in a biopic even though the actress has turned down the role because she can't sing.
Insisting she is "moving towards closing" the deal for the film, Franklin tells Billboard.com that she is still looking at a host of actresses who she'd like to cast as the film's leading lady - and she insists singing abilities are secondary - because she'll provide the film's soundtrack.
Berry was an initial favourite to play the Queen of Soul and Franklin admits she hasn't given up on that idea, even though the Oscar winner appears to have.
Franklin says, "I told her, 'No one ever expected you to sing, Halle. I never thought of you as a singer.
"A lot of movies come out where it's the original artist and their songs are lip-sung to. That is how it would turn out if it's Halle. If not, if for instance it's Jennifer Hudson, she might sing one or two, but the rest would still be my original records. We're definitely going to use the original records. I may re-record some things, too."
The singer has also hinted that Ray director Taylor Hackford will tackle her biopic. She stopped short of naming Hackford as the man behind her long-awaited lifestory movie, but checked the film he made about Ray Charles with Jamie Foxx.
She says, "I don't want to use his (director's) name until it's on the dotted line (but) I can tell you that he's had several blockbusters in the last five to 10 years. Go back to the movie Ray."
And she reveals the movie will depict "my advent from Detroit to New York as a young, aspiring singer... It's going to be pretty straight-up."