NAMES IN THE NEWS : Einstein Film Inspiration Told

<i> From Times Staff and Wire Service Reports</i>

Here’s a brief history of Errol Morris’ new film:

The director of the acclaimed documentary “The Thin Blue Line” wanted to make a film based on the true story of the theft of Albert Einstein’s brain and approached Steven Speilberg’s production company, Amblin Entertainment.

Also talking to Amblin was producer Gordon Freedman, who acquired the right to physicist Stephen Hawking’s best-selling “A Brief History of Time.” Spielberg liked the idea and quickly decided on the ideal director: Morris.

Morris had studied history and science at Princeton University, but wasn’t interested at first.


He changed his mind after reading the book.

“I thought it was an opportunity to push documentaries--non-fiction film making--even further than I may have pushed in my previous films,” Morris said in today’s editions of The New York Times.

“I was very moved by Hawking as a scientist and as a man,” Morris said of the author, who suffers from Lou Gehrig’s disease, “He’s a truly wonderful man.”

Morris said he used more than 30 sets for the film and will begin editing in the fall.