Cynthia Erivo To Star As Aretha Franklin In Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’

  • Deadline
Cynthia Erivo To Star As Aretha Franklin In Nat Geo’s ‘Genius: Aretha’
Nat Geo and Imagine have found their Queen of Soul. Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy-winning artist and actress Cynthia Erivo has been tapped to star as Aretha Franklin in the next installment of Nat Geo’s Emmy-winning global anthology series Genius: Aretha, from Imagine Television and Fox 21 TV Studios.

Billed as the first-ever, definitive and only authorized scripted limited series on the life of Franklin, Genius: Aretha will begin filming in November for a spring 2020 premiere on National Geographic channels in 172 countries and 43 languages.

As previously announced, Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of Topdog/Underdog, will be executive producer and showrunner of the series. Music mogul and longtime Franklin collaborator Clive Davis as well as Atlantic Records chairman and CEO Craig Kallman also executive produce.

“Aretha Franklin has been a source of inspiration for me since I was a little girl,” said Erivo. “Her strength, passion and
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