Alert the Academy: Stephen Hawking is getting the biopic treatment, with "Les Miserables" hunk Eddie Redmayne attached to the starring role.
Deadline.com reports that "Theory of Everything," the first feature film to center on the British physicist's life, is coming together. Oscar-winning documentarian James Marsh ("Man On Wire," "Project Nim") is slated to direct the effort, which is expected to zero in on the relationship between Hawking and his wife (although Deadline.com does not specify which of Hawking's two ex-wives that will be). No word has emerged yet on which actress could nab that role.
Regardless of how this movie shapes up over the next few months, it's almost certain that it will be an Oscar contender. The role attracts two aspects Best Actor voters adore: playing a real person (recent examples include Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn, Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and playing a character with physical or mental disabilities (Colin Firth, Tom Hanks, Dustin Hoffman). Hawking famously suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and has been in a wheelchair since the late 1960s.
Redmayne, who won a Tony in 2010 for the play "Red," is currently filming "Jupiter Ascending," a futuristic movie directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. Co-starring Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Terry Gilliam, "Jupiter" tells the story of a world in which humans are second-class citizens and one woman's attempt to thwart the Queen of the Universe's reign could turn deadly.
Hawking has not yet received a major movie treatment, so if the project manifests as reported, Redmayne will have a big task looming ahead of him. The closest Hawking has come to the big screen is in documentary form, when Errol Morris' 1991 film "A Brief History Of Time" was released. Another documentary, "Hawking," premiered at this year's South by Southwest Festival.
The Huffington Post reached out to Redmayne's publicist to confirm Deadline.com's report but has not yet heard back.