Cynthia Erivo-starrer 'Genius: Aretha' adds David Cross

Los Angeles, Nov 21 (PTI) Popular stand-up comedian and actor David Cross has joined the cast of National Geographic's 'Genius: Aretha'.

British actor Cynthia Erivo will be portraying music legend Aretha Franklin in the third chapter of the critically-acclaimed anthology series.

The first and second seasons of the show explored the lives of famous German scientist Albert Einstein and Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, respectively.

The third season will focus of the life of titular Grammy Award winner and musical icon.

Cross, who has films such as 'Sorry to Bother You' and 'The Post' to his credits, will portray music producer Jerry Wexler, Variety reported.

The eight-episode show will also feature Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, Kimberly Hébert Gregory, Rebecca Naomi Jones, and Sanai Victoria. According to Deadline, Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce the pilot episode. Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of 'Topdog/Underdog', will be serving as showrunner.

The series will include some of Franklin's iconic recordings from the comprehensive Warner Music catalogue, including 'I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)', 'Chain of Fools', 'Don't Play That Song', 'Since You've Been Gone' and 'Baby I Love You'.

It will also feature the singer's performances of 'I Knew You Were Waiting for Me', 'Freeway of Love' and 'Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves'.

'Genius: Aretha' will be executive produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Francie Calfo, as well as returning executive producers from previous installments Ken Biller, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, and Sam Sokolow. PTI RB RB