National Geographic has found its next “Genius.”
The network has tapped Cynthia Erivo to play Aretha Franklin in a third installment of the anthology series.
The authorized project will feature Franklin's music. Erivo will perform songs from the singer's catalog. Franklin died in 2018 of pancreatic cancer at age 76.
Erivo won a Tony Award, a Grammy and a Daytime Emmy for her work in “The Color Purple.”
“Genius” dramatizes the story of some of the world's most legendary innovators. Previous seasons focused on Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso, starring Geoffrey Rush and Antonio Banderas.
Production on “Genius: Aretha” will begin next month. The series is expected to debut next spring.
Among celebrity birthdays today: Author Anne Rice is 78. Actress Lori Saunders is 78. Actor Clifton Davis is 74. Actress Susan Sarandon is 73. Actor Armand Assante is 70. Actor Alan Rosenberg is 69. Actor Christoph Waltz is 63. Actor Bill Fagerbakke is 62. Actress Kyra Schon is 62. Rap producer Russell Simmons is 62. Actress Wendy Makkena is 61. Keyboardist Chris Lowe is 60. Actor Liev Schreiber is 52. Actor Abraham Benrubi is 50. Actress Alicia Silverstone is 43. Actress Dana Davis is 41. Actor Phillip Glasser is 41. Singer-guitarist Marc Roberge is 41. Singer Jessica Benson is 32. Actress Melissa Benoist is 31. Actress Dakota Johnson is 30.