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TV drama is going through something of a golden age at the moment, so it’s no surprise that every channel wants their own prestige series starring big-name talent.

The latest to get in on the act, according to Deadline, is National Geographic. Yep, that channel of mostly nature docs and survival shows has commissioned new anthology series Genius, starting with a dramatization of the life and loves of Albert Einstein played by The King’s Speech star Geoffrey Rush.

You can’t get more genius than that. Based on Walter Isaacson‘s book Einstein: His Life and Universe, the 10-episode series will explore Einstein’s complex personal relationships as well as his scientific achievements.

Geoffrey has got genius form, of course. He won an Oscar for playing piano virtuoso David Helfgott in 1996’s Shine. That’s not to mention his roles as Marquis de Sade in Quills in 2000 and Peter Sellers in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers in 2004. But even he with all his acting prowess couldn’t stretch to playing the father of the theory of relativity when he was a lowly patent clerk; that task will be undertaken by 33-year-old Johnny Flynn (Clouds Of Sils Maria).

The series’ top-end credentials don’t stop there. Ron Howard will direct the first episode of the drama, saying in a statement: “My excitement for this project grows every day, and I cannot wait to get started.”

Ron doesn’t have long to wait, as production is due to start next month in Prague in the Czech Republic—but the rest of us are going to have to be a little more patient. Genius is expected to be shown in 171 countries and 45 languages, airing some time next year on National Geographic.

Isn’t this casting just perfect?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.