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.
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.