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The upcoming third season of National Geographic’s scripted anthology series Genius will be focused on Aretha Franklin.

Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso were the subject of the first two series, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush and Antonio Banderas, respectively.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks will be the creator and executive produce the late Queen of Soul’s life story together with music mogul Clive Davis.

The series makes its way to the small screen after her death in August 2018 and filming will begin this US summer ahead of an early 2020 premiere on National Geographic Channels.

Aretha Franklin’s Life To Hit TV Screens

The series will be aired in 172 countries, according to Deadline.

The production will feature many of Franklin’s biggest hits, including I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) and Chain of Fools, as well as some of her live performances.


“Aretha Franklin had the ability to empower generations through her iconic music, and I’m excited to finally be able to tell her story, a career passion of mine,” Brian Grazer, Head of Imagine Entertainment said.

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“She cut through the pain of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination to help heal and unite America with her music and, in the process, ushered in the post-gospel era of rhythm and blues. We’re so grateful she shared her genius with the world.”


Lifelong friend and collaborator Davis added, “Aretha and I shared a 40-year friendship, ever since she cooked me dinner to talk about working together to reinvigorate her career. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with her and her incredible instrument. She was a gift to the world, one that will last for many generations. I am thrilled to be celebrating her genius with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Imagine.”

The question now is, who will portray Aretha in the series?

Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson was handpicked by the Queen of soul herself, to play her in a new movie about her life.