The National Geographic program will air in 172 countries.
Cynthia Erivo has officially been announced as the star of a forthcoming National Geographic’s global series, Genius Aretha. Deadline reports that the Tony, Emmy and Grammy-winning actress will play the role of icon Aretha Franklin.
The program was billed as the “first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series” on the life of Franklin. Set to begin filming in November, the project is slated to premiere in spring 2020 on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages, according to Deadline.
In an official statement, Erivo expressed a bit on the forthcoming role:
“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl. Her strength, passion and soul are evident in her everlasting legacy, not only as a transcendent artist, but as a humanitarian and civil rights icon. To have the opportunity to bring her legacy to life and show the fullness of her being, her humanity and brilliance, is an honor.”
The third season of the series will highlight Franklin’s musical prowess and her career. It will also explore her “immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world.” Additionally, Genius Aretha will include songs from Franklin’s Warner Music catalogue including “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” “Chain of Fools,” “Don’t Play That Song” and more.
Head to Deadline for more details surrounding the upcoming scripted series Genius Aretha.
Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she covers culture, music, and fashion. You can see what's on her mind @robyn_mowatt.