PBS & Channel 4 To Co-Produce Stephen Hawking Biopic

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Channel 4 and US public broadcaster PBS have teamed up for a new autobiographical documentary about theoretical physicist Professor Stephen Hawking.

Titled Hawking, the biopic will be distributed  in cinemas by Vertgo Films in the UK and EIRE and will then air on Channel 4 and PBS in the United States. Darlow Smithson Productions is producing Hawking. The Endemol owned production company’s other recent credits include BBC Three’s The Crash (known during development as One Day Like This) and they are also currently producing Channel 4’s mini-series The Mill, which is being directed by James Hawes and stars Ciaran Griffths, Matthew McNulty & more.

Hawking will tell the dramatic story of the planet’s most famous living scientist, told for the first time in his own words and by those closest to him. Made with unique access to Hawking’s private life, this is an intimate and moving look into Stephen Hawking’s world, both past and present. The biopic charts his his incredible personal journey from boyhood underachiever, to scientific genius and multi-million selling author & how he overcame being diagnosed with Motor Neurone disease – and being given just two years to live – to make amazing scientific discoveries and become an icon of triumph over adversity. Stephen Hawking’s sister Mary, his ex-wife Jane, Roger Penrose, Buzz Aldrin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jim Carey and Sir Richard Branson will all be interviewed for the production. Stephen Finnigan is directing. The executive producers are Ben Bowie, David Glover and Beth Hoppe.

Speaking of the project, Chanel 4’s Senior Commissioning Editor David Glover, who commissioned Hawking, said: “It’s a story that most of us have been aware of over the years, and so one kind of forgets how extraordinary it is. In this film he tells us the story of his life – making it the definitive film about Hawking. He does it in a rather understated, modest, British way – which makes it all the more moving. I think it’s a film that people will still be watching a hundred years from now.”

While Ben Bowie, Executive Producer and Creative Director at Darlow Smithson Productions, said: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to film and capture the most intimate details of Stephen Hawking’s life. Through Hawking’s own words, as well as those closest to him, viewers have an opportunity to get a fresh perspective on one of the greatest scientists of our time.”