Imagine principal, Oscar-winning helmer Ron Howard, is set to direct the first episode of the series, whose maiden season will focus on famous physicist Albert Einstein (Rush), based on Walter Isaacson’s biography Einstein: His Life and Universe.
The 10-episode series 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.
McElhatton plays physicist Dr. Philipp Lenard, an early role model for a young Einstein, who evolved into his longtime adversary — both inside and outside the laboratory; Gabel is Einstein’s longtime friend and confidant Michele Besso; Colley portrays Mileva Maric, a fellow student of Einstein’s during his university years in Zurich, who later became his first wife and mother to his three children; Topol plays Fritz Haber, a brilliant chemist and close colleague of Einstein’s who held some nontraditional and controversial political views; and Kartheiser is Raymond Geist, a consulate official in Berlin. Rush and Flynn play Einstein at different ages.
The series, from Fox 21, Imagine, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow, 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. Noah Pink will also co-executive produce alongside showrunner Ken Biller.