Nat Geo’s Cynthia Erivo-Led Aretha Franklin TV Biopic Pushed to Fall 2020

Published: Monday 25th May 2020 by Rashad

As we reported here, Memorial Day 2020 was the original slated premiere date for National Geographic’s ‘Genius: Aretha’ – a four-night miniseries dedicated to the life and times of Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

Designed to “explore Franklin’s musical genius, incomparable career, and the immeasurable impact and lasting influence she has had on music and culture around the world,” the anthology installment was set to be the first-ever authorized limited series about the musical monarch.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, however, the network’s announced a change of plans.

Aretha fans who were looking to catch the made-for-TV flick on their screens tonight (May 25) will have to wait just a little longer:

Starring EMMY, GRAMMY, and TONY-award winning actress Cynthia Erivo as well as EMMY and TONY-award winner Courtney B. Vance, Malcolm Barrett, Patrice Covington, and others, the four-night/eight-part series dedicated to the late musical icon has been pushed to a yet-disclosed date this fall.  The move will cause the series to miss out on this year’s EMMY eligibility.

The announcement comes two months after ‘Respect’ – the big screen biopic of the late legend’s life led by Academy & GRAMMY-award winner Jennifer Hudson – also pushed its release date back.

Click here to learn more about that.

Your thoughts?

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  1. Tori May 25, 2020

    I don’t want to judge it off the trailer but…it doesn’t seem like Aretha. It looks alot like Cynthia playing another role. But I’ll wait to judge this and the “Respect” movie, which also seem like another Jennifer Hudson singing role and not an authentic Aretha story. You know…who’s to say they won’t both be stellar pieces!

  2. #TheTruth May 25, 2020

    Well she’s got a hell of a voice. But both projects being released within the same year – well normally – you already know the comparisons are going to flow…

  3. LAMBILY May 25, 2020

    I hate how this project is trying to come for RESPECT. Like really, we don’t need them this close together. Also, I agree when she said “I wanna make hits Mr. Wexler” in the trailer, it sounded more like Mary J. Blige and not Aretha Franklin. Also, I am sorry but Cynthia cannot sing like Jhud. Look at what Titus Burgess, Marlon Wayans, and another cast member have said about Jhud. They said that she’s really turned it on for this role.

    • Nippian May 26, 2020

      I surmise Cynthia and this crew should have done a proper Nina Simone film. I am not even excited about Jennifer Hudson playing Aretha because all she is doing in that trailer is Effie White sings Aretha. Jennifer can sing, but she screams and yells and lacks emotional..soul. Aretha is the Queen of Soul so I don’t get…nevermind. Aretha picked her but she also picked Halle Berry so go figure. Judging by the trailers it looks like Cynthia’s movie will tell the true story of Aretha. I read Aretha’s glossed over bio and it was so far from reality.

      • Boss+Up May 26, 2020

        You haven’t even seen the trailer for “Respect” so how do you even know that?

    • Boss+Up May 26, 2020

      Eyes haven’t seen nor have ears heard what they are about to witness in “Respect.” Jennifer Hudson is going to shock a lot of these nay sayers. I can’t wait 🤩🤩

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