EXCLUSIVE: Disney+ and National Geographic have set the remaining cast for Genius: MLK/X, the fourth installment in the anthology series. Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us), Gary Carr (The Peripheral) and Hubert Point-Du Jour (The Good Lord Bird) are set as series regulars opposite previously announced Kelvin Harrison Jr., Aaron Pierre, Weruche Opia and Jayme Lawson. Lennie James (The Walking Dead), LisaGay Hamilton (Lincoln Lawyer), Ashley Romans (Y: The Last Man), Donal Logue (Departure) and Griffin Matthews (The Flight Attendant) recur in the series, which will focus on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Harrison Jr.) and Malcolm X (Pierre).
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Genius: MLK/X, the first installment of Nat Geo’s series to stream as a Disney+ original, will explore the formative years, pioneering accomplishments, dueling philosophies and key personal relationships of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Harrison Jr.) and Malcolm X (Pierre). 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 (Opia) and Betty Shabazz (Lawson), 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.
Cephas Jones will play Elijah Muhammad, the leader of the Nation of Islam. Powerful, confident, and complicated, he is a teacher and mentor of Malcolm X and referred to humbly all members of the NOI as “The Honorable One”.
Carr is Clyde X, an official at Temple Number 7 in Harlem and Elijah Muhammad’s trusted confidant. Clyde is the eyes and ears in NYC, a position he is deeply proud of. Clyde’s history is one crowded in mystery, stints in prison and time in the army only help to cast a shadow of a man who carries a menacing presence. But one thing that is clear is his deep loyalty to the Nation of Islam and his leader, the honorable Elijah Muhammad. Clyde is impressed but also secretly jealous of Malcolm X’s success and especially of Elijah’s trust and love for him. Clyde likes consistency and order. Challenges to the chain of command disturb him.
Point-Du Jour is Ralph Abernathy, a Baptist minister and Civil Rights leader in the sixties. Ralph is a man of principle with a deeply rooted sense of justice.
James recurs as Daddy King aka Dr. Michael King, Martin Luther King’s father. A preacher at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia in the year 1934, he is an imposing figure, fiery, impassioned, and inspiring.
Hamilton plays Alberta King, Martin Luther King Jr’s mother, the “First Lady” of Ebenezer Baptist Church. Gifted, loving, skilled, and wise, she is a constant source of strength to the King family.
Romans portrays Ella Mae, Malcolm’s half-sister.
Logue plays Strom Thurmond, an American politician, decorated military officer, attorney, and former South Carolina governor who then represented South Carolina in the United States Senate starting in 1954.
Matthews portrays Bayard Rustin. He is a trusted adviser to the reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. since the days of the Montgomery bus boycott, and helps plan the March on Washington serving as the Deputy Director of the march. Inspired by Quaker pacifism with socialism and the theory of non-violent protest, Rustin combines these threads into his own personal and working philosophy. In his own right, Rustin is a civil rights lion who is impeccably dressed in pressed pastel Oxford slacks, perfectly creased, with a pair of horn-rimmed eyeglasses, and yet there’s something quiet intimidating about him.
Brian Grazer and Ron Howard executive produce For Imagine Television. For Undisputed Cinema, Reggie Rock Bythewood, Gina Prince-Bythewood and Francie Calfo are executive producers. Raphael Jackson Jr. and Damione Macedon are showrunners and executive producers. For Madison Wells Studios, Gigi Pritzker and Rachel Shane serve as executive producers. For EUE/Sokolow, Sam Sokolow is executive producer. Stetson is also an executive producer. Godfrey Peoples is a co-executive producer. Ambassador Shabazz serves as consulting producer.
Cephas Jones and his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones made Emmy history as the first father daughter duo to both win individual Emmys in the same year. Jones portrayed William Hill in NBC’s This is Us, earning two outstanding guest actor Emmy awards for his work, along with a third Emmy nomination. His other recent credits include Apple’s Lisey’s Story alongside Julianne Moore and Truth Be Told oppositie Octavia Spencer. Cephas Jones is repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment.
Carr can currently be seen in Amazon’s The Peripheral opposite Chloe Grace Moretz. Additional credits include HBO Max’s Trigonometry, Amazon’s Modern Love and the feature 21 Bridges. Carr is repped by CAA, ICM Partners, Markham, Froggatt and Irwin in London and Anonymous Content.
Point-Du Jour will next be seen starring in the Peacock’s John Wick prequel series The Continental. He most recently starred in Dr. Death and City On A Hill. He’s repped by Gersh and Anonymous Content.
James is known for his role as Morgan on The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. His other credits include Jericho and HBO’s Hung. He created, executive produced and starred in the BAFTA-winning series Save Me for Sky Atlantic. He most recently starred in Andrew Bujalski’s feature There There. He’s repped by Independent Talent Group in London, UTA and Felker Toczek Suddleson.
Hamilton currently can be seen in Netflix’s Lincoln Lawyer, HBO’s Winning Time opposite John C. Reilly and Hulu’s The Dropout opposite Amanda Seyfried. Next up, she will recur on FX’s upcoming series Class of ’09. Hamilton is repped by Innovative Artists and Greenlight Management and Production.
Romans most recently co-starred opposite Diane Lane in FX’s Y: The Last Man. Additional TV credits include NOS4A2, Shameless and I’m Dying Up Here. Romans is repped by Innovative Artists and Schumacher Management.
Logue can currently be seen in Season 2 of Peacock’s Departure and FX comedy What We Do In The Shadows. He’ll next be seen in the AMC limited series Sisters, CBS drama The Equalizer and JJ Abrams’ HBO Max series Duster. Logue is repped by UTA, Kipperman Management and RLG.
Matthews stars as Shane Evans in Season 2 of HBO Max’s The Flight Attendant. He can also currently be seen in the Apple TV + anthology series Roar and Marvel series She Hulk on Disney+. He’ll next be seen in Netflix’s rom-com Your Place Or Mine, opposite Reese Witherspoon and Ashton Kutcher, set for release in 2023. He’s repped by Gersh, United Agents (UK), 3 Arts and John Meigs at Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox.
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