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‘Genius: Aretha’, which has Cynthia Erivo in the leading role as Cynthia Erivo, will reunite ‘The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story’ actor with director Anthony Hemingway.
Actor Courtney B. Vance has been tapped to play Aretha Franklin’s father, reverend and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin, in upcoming anthology series “Genius”.
The star will reunite with his “The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story” director Anthony Hemingway, and join Cynthia Erivo as the late music icon in the scripted limited series, which will chronicle the life and legacy of the late Queen of Soul.
Filming on “Genius: Aretha” is expected to begin in December, ahead of a spring 2020 air date on America’s National Geographic network.
In a statement addressing his casting, Vance writes, “It’s an honour to join the ‘Genius: Aretha’ team, and to bring to life the magnificent story of the Queen of Soul, an amazing woman who my wife, Angela (Bassett) and I loved dearly.
“Aretha’s father, C.L. Franklin, had a profound impact on her trajectory from a girl in a gospel choir to a global phenomenon – both in a good way and a bad way.”
“I’m eager to dive into his story, and to have the tremendous opportunity to work with the undeniable talents of (producer) Suzan-Lori Parks and Cynthia Erivo,” he adds. “And I’m always excited to work with Anthony Hemingway.”
The TV series isn’t the only screen project about Aretha in the works – Jennifer Hudson is also playing Franklin in a new movie biopic.
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