National Geographic's First-Ever Super Bowl Spot Teases the Highly Anticipated Scripted Series, Genius
National Geographic released the network’s first-ever stand-alone spot for Sunday’s championship football game, premiering immediately following Lady Gaga’s highly anticipated halftime show. The 45-second spot, entitled “Bad Romance,” teases the upcoming scripted series GENIUS, from executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard and starring Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein (“The Kings Speech,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Shine”), Emily Watson (“Theory of Everything,” “The Book Thief”) as Elsa Einstein and Johnny Flynn (“Clouds of Sils Maria,” “Song One,” “Lovesick”) as younger Einstein.
The commercial features Rush as Einstein, and was directed by acclaimed commercial director Ivan Zachariáš. It opens with Einstein in his study, picking up a violin, tapping into his well-known passion for playing Bach and Mozart.
As the spot continues, Einstein starts playing the most beautiful, frenzied sonata, and halfway through the commercial, viewers will recognize the piece as Lady Gaga’s hit song “Bad Romance” — although a version not heard like this before. The song “Bad Romance” subtly teases Einstein’s little-known lothario ways. In fact, Einstein once said, “Lasting harmony with a woman [was] an undertaking in which I twice failed rather disgracefully.”
Einstein plays the song with tremendous passion and emotion, exactly the way we imagine he would — while at the same time reflecting a sense of his tumultuous love life. The violin sings out harmoniously; there are moving rapid flashes of handwritten scientific equations symbolizing his rebellious, no-holds-barred approach to science. Einstein then abruptly stops, and as he sticks out his tongue — Einstein’s signature gesture.