Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Fox 21 Television Studios released a first-look photo of British actress Cynthia Erivo as the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.

The studio released a photo that shows Erivo, 32, seated at a piano in a scene from Genius: Aretha, the upcoming biographical series from National Geographic.

Tony Award winner Erivo is best known for her portrayal of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman. The movie Harriet is in theaters now.

Erivo will play Aretha in the third installment of the "Genius" series.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

Franklin died of natural causes at age 76 at her home in Detroit, Michigan on August 16, 2018. She is pictured above in 1968.

Erivo told Deadline.com she has been preparing herself for the role over the last few months.

"I've been preparing myself to embody the Queen of Soul, from re-listening to her music to discovering her rare interviews and reading some amazing books on her — all to really capture Aretha's attitude and spirit. I'm truly humbled to be working alongside a very talented and musical team. Together, we'll serve the Queen and create something special."

Also featured in the cast is actor Courtney B. Vance, 59, who plays Aretha's father, Rev. C. L. Franklin.

Vance is married to actress Angela Bassett, 61. He is best known for his role in The Preacher's Wife (1996), alongside the late singer Whitney Houston.

Photo by FayesVision/WENN.com

Award-winning comedians Keegan-Michael Key, left, and Jordan Peele, aka Key & Peele, tackle the controversy surrounding American directors casting Black British actors in American movie roles.

Ironically, director Jordan Peele cast a British actor, Daniel Kaluuya, in his critically acclaimed movie "Get Out".

Actor Samuel L. Jackson questioned why Peele cast Kaluuya in Get Out. Others point out that British actress Naomie Harris was nominated for an Oscar for Moonlight. And British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor earned an Academy Award nomination for his role in 12 Years a Slave.

The film Queen & Slim, which opened in theaters on Thanksgiving Eve, featured British actors - Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith - in the lead roles.

In this video, Peele and his comedic partner Keegan-Michael Key explain why American directors choose British actors over Black American actors.