Disney+ and National Geographic have announced that Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood will serve as executive producers on the upcoming fourth season of the original limited series Genius. This new season, titled, Genius: MLK/X, will be a first for the docudrama franchise, as there will be two subjects of focus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. Genius: MLK/X will explore the formative years of the two civil rights icons as well as their pioneering accomplishments and duel philosophies.
Reggie Rock Bythewood is the creator and showrunner of the Apple TV+ series Swagger, inspired by NBA superstar Kevin Durant’s youth basketball experiences. He met his wife, Prince-Bythewood, writing for the comedy series A Different World. His writing credits include Get On The Bus, his first produced screenplay, as well as New York Undercover, Dancing in September, and Notorious. Gina Prince-Bythewood is an Award-winning director/writer/producer that has credits as the director and writer of Love & Basketball, The Secret Life of Bees, and Beyond the Lights. The couple both co-created and executive produced the acclaimed event series Shots Fired. “Malcolm and Martin are staggering icons, and we have been eager to explore the genius of these two very real men in a way that has not yet been seen,” said the Bythewoods. “We are excited to team up with Imagine Entertainment and 20th Television to reflect their amazing lives and contributions to civil rights and the urgency of today.”
The Genius franchise dramatizes the lives and stories of some of history’s greatest innovators, “exploring their extraordinary achievements along with their volatile, passionate and complex personal relationships.” Throughout its first three seasons, which focus on the stories of Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Aretha Franklin, it accumulated 20 Emmy nominations and three wins as well as several other awards.
The Bythewoods will act as executive producers via their production company Undisputed Cinema, with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Francie Calfo, Anna Culp, Gigi Pritzker, Rachel Shane, and Sam Sokolow returning as executive producers. Raphael Jackson, Jr. and Damione Macedon, who previously worked together as consulting producers on The Mosquito Coast for Apple TV and as co-executive producers on the 50 Cent-produced hit franchise Power, serve as showrunners as well as executive producers. Jeff Stetson is writing the pilot of the anthology series’ latest installment.
Genius: MLK/X is set to premiere on Disney+ sometime in 2022.
Here’s the official description for the new season:
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. While they met only once and often challenged each other’s views, neither would have been as successful without the other.