The Aretha Franklin film Amazing Grace (out April 5) has been a long time coming. As EW reported four years ago, the late director Sydney Pollack spent two nights in 1972 filming the soul legend recording her live gospel album of the same name inside a Los Angeles church. While the album went double platinum, the planned movie was never released because of sound issues. Around 2007, producer Alan Elliott began working with Pollack (until his death in 2008) to finish the film and Amazing Grace was set to screen at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, before a federal judge, acting at Franklin’s request, derailed that plan.
Speaking to EW in 2015, Elliott characterized the film as an essential chronicle of a once-in-a-generation artist at the height of her powers. “It would be this horrible loss to our culture to not have this out into the world,” he said.
In the wake of the Queen of Soul’s death in August, the rights issues surrounding the film were sorted out with her estate and Amazing Grace finally premiered at the Doc NYC film festival last November.
Watch the new, official trailer for Amazing Grace, above.