‘Genius’ season 4 coming to Disney+, featuring Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X

This announcement comes after an acclaimed third season, starring Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin

Loading the player...

After acclaimed installments following Aretha Franklin, Albert Einstein, and more, Disney+ and National Geographic are returning with the fourth installment of their Genius series, this time capturing American civil rights icons Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

While the previous installments in the franchise focus on one “genius” in history, the fourth installment will be the first time two noted figures are featured. Another change is where the series will be available; in the past, Genius aired on National Geographic, but the fourth season will move to Disney’s popular streaming service, Disney+.

The upcoming season is titled Genius: MLK/X.

Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X after King’s press conference at the U.S. Capitol on March 26, 1964 about the Senate debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. (Library of Congress/Marion S. Trikosko)

Per the official press release, the fourth installment will, “explore the formative years, pioneering accomplishments, dueling philosophies and key personal relationships of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. While King advanced racial equality through nonviolent protest, Malcolm X argued forcefully for Black empowerment, identity, and self-determination.”

“With their formidable wives, Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz, by their sides, King and Malcolm X became synonymous with the civil rights era and the fight for racial and economic justice,” the synopsis continues. “While they met only once and often challenged each other’s views, neither would have been as successful without the other.”

Disney+ and National Geographic also announced that Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood are executive producers for the season. Prince-Bythewood, the filmmaker known for Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees, is also gearing up for her next feature, The Woman King starring Viola Davis.

"Shots Fired" Premiere - 2017 Sundance Film Festival
Directors Reggie Rock Bythewood (L) and Gina Prince-Bythewood at the “Shots Fired” premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25, 2017. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival)

In a statement, the Bythewoods said, “Malcolm and Martin are staggering icons, and we’ve been eager to explore the genius of these two very real men in a way that has not yet been seen. We are excited to team up with Imagine Entertainment and 20th Century Television to reflect their amazing lives and contributions to civil rights and the urgency of today.”

Raphael Jackson, Jr. and Damione Macedon also join the series as showrunners and executive producers, with Jeff Stetson set to write the pilot. Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Francie Calfo, and Anna Culp also executive produce.

TheGrio is now on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!

Loading the player...