Malcolm Barrett, Rebecca Naomi Jones, others join Cynthia Erivo's 'Genius: Aretha'

Ravi Bansal

Los Angeles, Oct 29 (PTI) Actors Malcolm Barrett and Rebecca Naomi Jones have 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.

In the third season, titled 'Genius: Aretha', the story will focus of the life of titular Grammy Award winner and musical icon.

According to Deadline, Anthony Hemingway will direct and executive produce the pilot episode.

Barrett will play Ted White, Aretha's first husband and business manager.

Actor Patrice Covington and Jones will portray Aretha’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn Franklin, respectively, who are both talented performers in their own right.

Kimberly Hebert Gregory has been cast as Ruth Bowen, the head of a successful black-owned agency, who represents Aretha.

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'.

Erivo, 32, best known for starring in films such as 'Widows' and 'Harriet', will herself perform some of Franklin's songs.

Suzan-Lori Parks, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of 'Topdog/Underdog', will be serving as showrunner on the series.

It 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 RBRB