Steve McQueen, Liesl Tommy Set New Films

It scored great reviews and made many best of year lists, but “Shame” and “Hunger” filmmaker Steve McQueen’s thriller remake “Widows” sadly failed to take off at the box-office this past Fall. Now he’s trying something a bit more arthouse with Indiewire reporting that McQueen will next helm a documentary titled “The Occupied City,” his first effort in the genre.

The story will document the life and times of those living in Amsterdam during World War II and is inspired by his Dutch historian wife Bianca Stigter’s book: “Atlas Of An Occupied City, Amsterdam 1940-1945”.

Also today, Deadline reports that stage director Liesl Tommy has been set to direct “Respect,” a new biopic about music icon Aretha Franklin which has been set up at MGM. Scott Bernstein and Harvey Mason, Jr. are producing.

The story covers the life of the late Franklin from singing as a child in her father’s church’s choir to becoming an iconic superstar and civil rights activist. Jennifer Hudson was handpicked by Franklin to play her with Callie Khouri (“Thelma & Louise”) penning the script.