National Geographic has unveiled the first look at Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in Genius: Aretha, the third season of their anthology series, Genius.
“Over the last few months, I’ve been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from relistening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha’s attitude and spirit,” said Erivo. “I’m truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we’ll serve the Queen and create something special.”
The cast also includes Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones and Sanai Victoria.
The latest Genius installment is being billed as “the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of the universally acclaimed Queen of Soul.” Brian Grazer and Ron Howard executive produce the series, which is from Imagine Television and Fox 21. Suzan-Lori Parks is the showrunner and an executive producer. An April 2020 premiere date has been scheduled for the newest season. The first two seasons of Genius focused on Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.
Here’s the official description: Genius dramatizes the fascinating stories of the world’s most brilliant innovators, exploring their extraordinary achievements along with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships. The third season of the anthology series will explore Franklin’s musical genius and incomparable career, as well as the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world. Grammy Award winner Franklin was a gospel prodigy and outspoken civil rights champion and is widely considered to be the greatest singer of the past 50 years, receiving countless honors throughout her career.
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