Academy Award-Winning Actor Geoffrey Rush to Star as Albert Einstein in GENIUS from National Geographic Channel, Imagine Television and Fox 21 Television Studios

Newcomer Johnny Flynn Set to Star as Young Einstein

Production Begins Next Month on 10-Episode Anthology Series with
Academy Award-Winner Ron Howard to Direct First Episode

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Academy Award-, Golden Globe-, Emmy- and Tony-winning actor Geoffrey
(“The Kings Speech,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Shine”) has
been cast in National Geographic Channel’s upcoming global anthology
series GENIUS, from Fox 21 Television Studios (“Homeland,” “The
People v. O.J. Simpson”), Imagine Television (“24,” “Empire”), OddLot
Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow. Rush will star as Albert Einstein in the
first-ever scripted series for the network. The story is based on Walter
Isaacson’s critically acclaimed biography of the celebrated scientist,
and the first episode will be directed by Imagine’s Ron Howard, his
first time directing a scripted prime-time drama. Production begins next
month in Prague, and will air in 2017 on the National Geographic Channel
in 171 countries and 45 languages.

Joining Rush in the cast is Johnny Flynn (“Clouds of Sils Maria,”
“Song One,” “Lovesick”), who will play Einstein in the years before he
rose to international attention and acclaim. Through 10 episodes, GENIUS
will chart how an imaginative, rebellious patent clerk, who couldn’t get
a teaching job or a doctorate, unlocked the mysteries of the atom and
the universe. Each episode will explore Einstein’s extraordinary
scientific achievements, along with his volatile, passionate and complex
personal relationships.

“The caliber of the GENIUS cast lives up to the show’s title,”
said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president and head of global
scripted development and production, National Geographic Channel. “The
supremely talented Geoffrey Rush is dream casting for the role of Albert
Einstein, and Johnny Flynn not only is an incredible talent but also
bears more than a passing resemblance to Rush. We couldn’t be more
excited to get them to work with Ron and the rest of the team.”

“It’s a testament to Ron, our team of creative partners and this
fantastic material that we have put together such a powerhouse cast, led
by the great Geoffrey Rush,” commented Bert Salke, president of Fox 21
Television Studios. “This truly has all the ingredients to be a special

“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. My excitement for this project grows every day,
and I cannot wait to get started,” added Howard.

After more than two decades as a stage and film actor, Australian-born
Geoffrey Rush burst into the mainstream with the role of a lifetime as
piano prodigy David Helfgott in “Shine,” for which he received an
Academy Award, Golden Globe award, BAFTA award and Australian Film
Institute Award. Since then he has become one of Hollywood’s most
reliable talents, with critically acclaimed roles in “Shakespeare in
Love,” “Quills,” “The Kings Speech” and the “Pirates of Caribbean”
franchise. He also won an Emmy award for his performance in the titular
role of the television movie “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” and
a Tony Award for lead actor in a play for Broadway’s “Exit the King.”

British actor and musician Johnny Flynn was nominated as the London
Newcomer of the Year at the 2012 What’s On Stage Awards for his
performance in “The Heretic” (Royal Court) and went on to gain his first
Olivier Award nomination for “Jerusalem” (West End) that year. More
recently, Johnny starred in Martin McDonagh’s huge hit “Hangmen”
originating at the Royal Court and transferring to the West End. Other
theater credits include “TWELFTH NIGHT/RICHARD III” with Mark Rylance
(Globe/West End) and “THE LOW ROAD” (Royal Court). He co-starred with
Anne Hathaway in the feature film “Song One,” for which The Hollywood
Reporter called his performance “captivating” when it premiered at
Sundance in 2014, and also appeared in the features “Clouds of Sils
Maria” and “Love Is Thicker Than Water.” Flynn has had roles on several
British television series, including “Lovesick” and “Brotherhood.” He is
also the lead singer of the English folk band Johnny Flynn and the
Sussex Wit, which has released three albums.

Each season of GENIUS will dramatize the fascinating stories of
the world’s most brilliant innovators. The first season will be based on
Walter Isaacson’s critically acclaimed book “Einstein: His Life and
Universe,” adapted by writer Noah Pink. The series will be executive
produced by Imagine’s Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Francie Calfo, and
co-produced by Anna Culp; from OddLot Entertainment, Gigi Pritzker and
Rachel Shane will executive produce and Melissa Rucker will co-produce;
and Sam Sokolow and Jeff Cooney from EUE/Sokolow will also executive
produce. Pink will also co-executive produce alongside showrunner Ken
Biller. For National Geographic Channels, Carolyn G. Bernstein is
executive vice president and head of global scripted development and

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About National Geographic Channel

The National Geographic Channels (The Channels) form the television and
production arm of National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between
21st Century Fox and the National Geographic Society. As a global leader
in premium science, adventure and exploration programming, the Channels
include: National Geographic Channel (NGC), Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo People
and Nat Geo MUNDO. Additionally, the Channels also run the in-house
television production unit, National Geographic Studios. The Channels
contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to
exploration, conservation and education with entertaining, innovative
programming from A-level talent around the world, and with profits that
help support the society’s mission. Globally, NGC is available in more
than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages, and Nat Geo
WILD is available in 131 countries and 38 languages. National Geographic
Partners is also a leader in social media, with a fan base of 250
million people across all of its social pages. NGC contributes over 55
million social media fans globally on Facebook alone. For more
information, visit

About Fox 21
Television Studios

Fox 21 Television Studios is a production unit housed within Fox
Television Group devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted and
unscripted series for all distribution platforms. Fox 21 Television
Studios is responsible for the sensation from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson
and Brad Simpson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
(with FX Productions); the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning “Homeland”
starring Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin; the critically acclaimed “The
Americans” (with FX Productions) starring Matthew Rhys and Keri Russell;
Brannon Braga and Adam Simon’s “Salem”; and Howard Gordon’s “Tyrant.”
New series include Fox 21 TVS’ “Dice,” from Scot Armstrong, Sean Furst,
Bryan Furst, Richard Shepard, Bruce Rubenstein and Andrew Dice Clay;
“Queen of the South,” from M.A. Fortin, Joshua John Miller, David T.
Friendly and Pancho Mansfield; and “Chance” from Kem Nunn, Alexandra
Cunningham, Lenny Abrahamson, Michael London and Brian Grazer.

About OddLot Entertainment

OddLot Entertainment is a Los Angeles-based film and television
production company that develops, produces, finances and arranges
distribution for quality commercial properties for the U.S. and
international markets. In addition, OddLot CEO Gigi Pritzker is part of
a consortium that launched the next-generation film studio STX
Entertainment founded by producer Robert Simonds. OddLot has produced
the Academy Award-nominated drama “Rabbit Hole” starring Nicole Kidman;
“The Way, Way Back” starring Steve Carell; “Drive” starring Ryan
Gosling; the futuristic sci-fi film “Ender’s Game”; and Jon Stewart’s
directorial debut, “Rosewater.”


National Geographic Channel
Chris Albert, 202-912-6526
Montgomery, 202-912-6632
Chris Alexander, 310-369-2733