A shooting broke out in Virginia on Thursday due to an argument dealing with the casting of Aretha Franklin’s biopic. The disagreement, which broke out between two men around 10:45 in a barbershop, concerned whether Halle Berry should hold the lead role in the upcoming production.
44-year-old Michael Jermell Hatton is said to have pulled out a gun and shot the other man, Tony Jonathan Lundy, 47, outside of the establishment. The victim was found in a critical condition.
The pair was arguing about who should embody the Queen of Soul in her biopic Aretha: From These Roots. Jennifer Hudson had already been confirmed as the lead earlier this year. Still, Halle Berry had been in the running according to Aretha Franklin herself. The legend had written a letter to The Wendy Williams Show commenting on the possible casting of Berry.
“She was my first choice. 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.”