In a franchise first, the upcoming season of National Geographic’s hit series Genius will explore the life and legacy of not one but two prominent historical icons: Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
Both Disney and Nat Geo posted a joint release Thursday announcing the news.
The upcoming fourth season will be executive produced by husband/wife filmmakers Reggie Rock Bythewood (Notorious) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Old Guard). They join Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, who have been aboard producing the series from their Imagine Entertainment banner since its inception.
Additionally, for the season will air exclusively on Disney+, unlike previous seasons which aired on the official National Geographic channel before being catalogued on the streamer. Subsequent seasons are also expected to air on Disney+.
This season’s official title will be Genius: MLK/X.
It will explore each civil rights icon’s “formative years, pioneering accomplishments, duelling philosophies and key personal relationships.” In the release, Disney points out, while they met only once, they often challenged each other’s views, and neither would have been as successful without the other.
“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. “
The first three seasons of the series focused on Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso, and Aretha Franklin, and received numerous accolades for the plot and the portrayals of the artists by Geoffrey Rush, Antonio Banderas, and Cynthia Erivo respectively.
It’s unclear who will step into the role of this season’s titular leads, but we expect casting news in the coming weeks.