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First Look: Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in The Aeronauts

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Amazon Studios has announced that principal photography has begun across the UK and in London for the feature film The Aeronauts.

The film reunites Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) and Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Danish Girl) following their successful collaboration on The Theory of Everything, where Jones received an Oscar nomination and Redmayne went onto win the Oscar for his performance of Stephen Hawking.

THE AERONAUTS is directed by BAFTA nominee Tom Harper (War & Peace, Peaky Blinders) and is written by BAFTA winner Jack Thorne (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Wonder, Radioactive).

Set in 1862, THE AERONAUTS follow wealthy young widow Amelia Wren (Felicity Jones) and ambitious scientist James Glaisher (Eddie Redmayne) as they mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone in history. This is a journey to the very edge of existence, where the air is thin and the chances of survival are slim. As their perilous ascent reveals their true selves, this unlikely pair discover things about each other – and themselves – that help them find their place in the world they have left behind.

The film is produced by Harper, with Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman for Mandeville Films (Wonder, Stronger, Beauty and the Beast); and executive produced by Richard Hewitt. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.

“A top priority for us on The Aeronauts is authenticity. With that in mind, we intend to do as much balloon filming in the sky as the weather will allow. This image was taken after we launched Felicity and Eddie 2,000 feet in the air, performing their scripted scene, while a helicopter captured it all. We’re fortunate that Felicity and Eddie have the nerve to do these stunts themselves as it authenticates our entire approach” explains Lieberman.

However, while they are going for an authentic look for the film, it seems that chracters have been left out. Jones’ character was created for the film. The real events saw Glaisher travel with Henry Coxwell. The record-breaking flight in 1862 nearly ended in disaster as the balloon ascended uncontrollably and its occupants.

Coxwell and Glaisher reached the greatest height achieved to date. Glaisher lost consciousness during the ascent, his last barometer reading indicating an altitude of 29,000 ft (8,800 m) and Coxwell lost all sensation in his hands, but managed just in time to pull the valve-cord with his teeth. The balloon dropped nineteen thousand feet in fifteen minutes, landing safely made near Ludlow. Later calculations estimated their maximum altitude at 35,000 to 37,000 ft (10,700 to 11,300 m)[5]

Keith Moore, Head of Library at the Royal Society, said “It’s a great shame that Henry isn’t portrayed because he performed very well and saved the life of a leading scientist. Glaisher was just looking at his instruments – he was very much the cargo.”

Additional cast joining Jones and Redmayne include Oscar nominee Tom Courtenay (45 Years), BAFTA nominee Anne Reid (The Last Tango in Halifax), BAFTA winner Rebecca Front (The Thick of It), Vincent Perez (Riviera), Tim McInnery (Game of Thrones), Phoebe Fox (The Hollow Crown) and Himesh Patel (forthcoming Danny Boyle, Richard Curtis project).

Director of Photography is BAFTA winner George Steel (War & Peace, Peaky Blinders), with costumes by Alexandra Bryne (Oscar winner for Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Oscar nominated for Finding Neverland, Elizabeth and Hamlet) and hair and make-up by Jenny Shircore (Beauty and the Beast, Macbeth). Production designers are David Hindle (The Death of Stalin, The Theory of Everything) and Christian Huband (Edge of Tomorrow, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them). Louis Morin (Arrival, The House with a Clock on its Walls) is the VFX Supervisor.

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