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Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Aaron Pierre Cast as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X


Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Aaron Pierre have been cast to portray civil rights leaders Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X in Disney+ National Geographic’s limited series Genius: MLK/X. Harrison will portray Martin Luther King Jr. and Pierre will portray Malcolm X. It will be the fourth installment of the Genius anthology television series.



According to a press release from Disney, Genius: MLK/X will explore the formative years, pioneering accomplishments, dueling philosophies, and key personal relationships of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X. The press release noted that although King and X met only once in their lifetimes, and often challenged each other’s views, neither would have been as successful without the other.


Weruche Opia and Jayme Lawson will portray King and X’s wives Coretta Scott King and Betty Shabazz X, respectively. Genius: MLK/X‘s first episode will be directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples who will also serve as co-executive producer alongside Reggie Rock Bythewood and Gina Prince-Bythewood. “We are beyond excited to have put together the incredible foursome of Kelvin, Aaron, Jayme, and Weruche to bring the depth, complexity, and humanity to these indelible icons,” said the Bythewoods. “They are all next level in their chops and their passion to tell this story.”


The Bythewoods also announced that there will be a team of acclaimed historians working on the project as production consultants including Jamal Joseph author of Panther Baby: A Life of Rebellion and Reinvention who is also a former member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army, Peniel E. Joseph author of The Sword and The Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., and Dr. Kameelah Rashad, the founder, and president of the Muslim Wellness Foundation (MWF) nonprofit organization, to name a few.


Principal photography for Genius: MLK/X will begin in October 2022 in Atlanta.


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