In the trailer for the new Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory Of Everything, a brilliant nerd goes to college, falls in love with a pretty girl, formulates some impressive theory, and then fights back against a debilitating illness. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s also the plot of a different big-thinker biopic, 2001’s inexplicably acclaimed A Beautiful Mind. One can hardly blame the bean-counters at Universal for wanting to capitalize on the success of a likeminded project, even one that severely whitewashes the life of its featured egghead. After all, making solitary number-crunching look exciting is no easy feat. Best to remind audiences how much they liked seeing that other Poindexter get laid and overcome hardship.
It remains to be seen if The Theory Of Everything will get into the less flattering details of Hawking’s personal life, including his eventual divorce of the aforementioned pretty girl. (If it actually is anything like A Beautiful Mind, the film will probably conveniently omit most of those details.) For now, all that’s clear is that the story will drag the famous theoretician (Eddie Redmayne, fresh off his Kermit-voiced turn in Les Misérables) through the wormhole of biopic storytelling, moving from his salad days as an ambitious academic to his advances in the field of quantum physics to his battle with motor neurone disease. The film will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival next month, and begin trickling into theaters during the awards-friendly month of November.