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Suzan-Lori Parks to Produce Aretha Franklin Bio Series, Part of Nat Geo's Genius

Franklin's life story will make up the new season of the series.

Suzan-Lori Parks is creating a television series about the life of Aretha Franklin.
(© David Gordon)

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks will bring the life of Aretha Franklin to the screen as the third season of National Geographic's scripted series Genius.

According to Deadline, the series will feature many of the Queen of Soul's biggest hits from the Warner Music catalog, with the rights of 80 percent of her music currently cleared. The project quickly came together following Franklin's death last August.

Parks will serve as executive producer and showrunner, with additional executive producers including music mogul Clive Davis, Atlantic Records chairman Craig Kallman, Imagine Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and Kenn Biller.

Filming is expected to start this summer, with an early 2020 premiere targeted on National Geographic's worldwide channels. Genius has also focused on the lives of Albert Einstein and Pablo Picasso.