One man shot after argument erupts over who should play Aretha Franklin in a biopic

Michael Hatton was arrested after he allegedly pulled a gun on another man over the casting of Aretha Franklin’s upcoming biopic. (Photo: Suffolk Police Department)

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, died at the age of 76 on Thursday, and news of her passing has left many fans highly emotional. Two men were so distraught over the singer’s death that it allegedly led to a shooting.

Witnesses told WTKR-TV that Michael Hatton, 44, and Tony Lundy, 47, were arguing outside a Virginia barbershop over who should play Franklin in an upcoming biopic. A witness said he’d heard two people “arguing over whether or not Halle Berry played or would play Aretha Franklin in a movie.”

The exchange became heated, and the verbal altercation turned physical with the men wrestling and punching one another on the ground. Eventually, Hatton allegedly drew a firearm and shot Lundy at least once, according to Suffolk Police.

Lundy was transported to a hospital where he remains in critical condition. Hatton was also treated for injuries and then transported to a local jail, where he is currently being held without bail.

In 2011, the “Respect” singer originally wanted Halle Berry to play her in the movie based on Franklin’s memoir, Aretha: From These Roots. However, at the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, Berry said in a red carpet interview, “I can’t sing! If I could carry a tune, I’d consider it. Someone should tell Aretha that I can’t do her justice.”

“[Halle Berry] was my first choice,” Franklin wrote in a letter to The Wendy Williams Show. “Everything’s subject to negotiation, and she shouldn’t underestimate her own talent. There are a number of other leading ladies out there that can definitely handle the role. I never expected Halle to sing. She’s an actress, not a singer. Many actors have portrayed vocalists by lip-synching to the artists’ original recordings.”

The role of the iconic singer will be played by Jennifer Hudson.

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