“Genius” Season 4 will now focus on both Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.
When the fourth season was originally announced in December 2020, it was reported that it would solely focus on King. In addition, Reggie Rock Bythewood (“Swagger,” “Shots Fired”) and Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Woman King,” “The Old Guard”) have joined the season as executive producers via their Undisputed Cinema production company, while Raphael Jackson, Jr. and Damione Macedon (“The Mosquito Coast”) will serve as co-showrunners and executive producers. Jeff Stetson is now attached to write the pilot.
“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.”
“Genius: MLK/X” 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.
Along with the Bythewoods, Jackson, and Macedon, Brian Grazer and Ron Howard will executive produce via Imagine Television Studios along with Francie Calfo and Anna Culp. Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane of MWM Studios and Sam Sokolow of EUE/Sokolow also return as executive producers. Imagine and 20th Television produce.
“Genius: MLK/X” will be the first time the series has focused on two people in one season. Past subjects include Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, and Aretha Franklin. This will also be the first season to debut exclusively on Disney+, with past seasons having aired on National Geographic and Hulu. The show has been a critical success since its launch, earning 20 total Emmy nominations across its three seasons to date.