Disney+ and National Geographic have announced, for the first time, that Genius will take on two subjects with Genius: MLK/X.
Both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X will be explored in the scripted anthology series’ fourth season–Shadow and Act has confirmed.
Previous seasons have only focused on one influential person at a time. The series will be executive produced by Gina Prince-Bythewood and Reggie Rock Bythewood via their production company Undisputed Cinema, joining Brian Grazer and Ron Howard.
Raphael Jackson Jr. and Damione Macedon will also executive produce and serve as showrunners. Additional executive producers include Francie Calfo and Anna Culp. Imagine Television Studios and 20th Television produce. Jeff Stetson will write the pilot’s script.
The fourth season will also be the first time Genius officially moves to Disney+, with the new season and subsequent seasons set to stream on the platform exclusively. The upcoming season will focus on King and X’s early years as civil rights activists, as well as the differences and similarities in their philosophies toward racial liberation. According to the official description:
The fourth season will explore the formative years, pioneering accomplishments, duelling philosophies and key personal relationships of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. While King advanced racial equality through nonviolent protest, Malcolm X argued forcefully for Black empowerment, identity and self-determination. With their formidable wives, Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz, by their sides, King and Malcolm X became synonymous with the civil rights era and the fight for racial and economic justice. While they met only once and often challenged each other’s views, neither would have been as successful without the other.
The Bythewoods said in a statement how they want the season to illuminate the two leaders’ humanity.
“Malcolm and Martin are staggering icons, and we have been eager to explore the genius of these two very real men in a way that has not yet been seen,” they said. “We are excited to team up with Imagine Entertainment and 20th Television to reflect their amazing lives and contributions to civil rights and the urgency of today.”