‘Genius’ Casts Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin in Season 3 of Nat Geo Anthology

genius aretha franklin
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for TIFF; Express Newspapers/Getty Images

National Geographic’s third season of Genius is on the way, with the anthology series delving into Aretha Franklin‘s story. And now, we have our Aretha!

Cynthia Erivo will headline the show as the late songstress in what’s billed as a “definitive, authorized account” of Franklin’s life, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The Broadway actress and rising Hollywood star couldn’t be more excited, which she expressed in a statement, “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,” Erivo continued. “What I know and have learned about what my voice, as an artist, can do and the power in it has been highly influenced by Franklin. I feel privileged and excited to be a part of the sharing of her genius.”

This will be the first season of Genius to depict a female genius as the prior installments focused on Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush and Antonio Banderas respectively. Genius: Aretha will focus on Franklin’s musical career as well as her contribution to the civil rights movement.

And fans of Franklin can look forward to plenty of tunes from the icon’s music catalog as Erivo will perform some of her biggest hits. No premiere date has been released at this time.

Genius, Season 3, TBA, National Geographic