Geoffrey Rush to Play Albert Einstein in Nat Geo’s ‘Genius’ Anthology Series

Ron Howard will direct the pilot.

Richard Dobson/Newspix/REX/Shutterstock

Richard Dobson/Newspix/REX/Shutterstock

Geoffrey Rush is getting back into biopic mode. The actor — who won an Oscar for his portrayal of pianist David Helfgott in “Shine” and has also played the Marquis de Sade and other historical figures — will star as Albert Einstein in National Geographic Channel’s anthology series “Genius.” He’ll be joined in that role by Johnny Flynn (“Song One,” “Clouds of Sils Maria”), who’s starring as the physicist in his younger years, with Ron Howard directing the pilot. The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news.

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The 10-episode drama, Nat Geo’s first scripted series, will serve as a portrait of the genius as a young man, focusing on the contrast between Einstein’s brilliance and his inability to attain either a doctorate or a position as a teacher. “National Geographic’s unwavering commitment to excellence and their support and passion for this project has helped us attract talent such as Geoffrey and Johnny,” said Howard in a statement. “My excitement for this project grows every day, and I cannot wait to get started.”

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Walter Isaacson wrote the well-received biography on which “Genius” is based. The show’s first season will begin filming in Prague next month, with a 2017 premiere is expected.

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