EXCLUSIVE: Felicity Jones is set to star opposite Eddie Redmayne in Theory Of Everything for Working Title. I’m hearing that Universal Pictures has signed on for the project in which Redmayne plays physicist Stephen Hawking. The film is to be directed by James Marsh, who won the Best Documentary Oscar for Man On Wire. Jones will play his wife, Jane. When they meet at Cambridge, he is able-bodied and she is an art student. They fall in love and even though he is given a death sentence with an ALS diagnosis that means two years to live, she makes the choice to marry him. The film focuses on the highs and lows of their life as he becomes more famous than most able-bodied men. At the same time, his confinement to a chair with a crippling disability has a profound impact on her. Anthony McCarten wrote the script. Lisa Bruce is producing with Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner.
EXCLUSIVE: After crushing it on Les Miserables, Eddie Redmayne is being fought over for his next lead role. I heard that he’s going to land on Theory Of Everything, and that he’ll play physicist Stephen Hawking in the film that Working Title is fast assembling with director James Marsh, who shared the Best Documentary Oscar for Man On Wire. The film focus is on the relationship between Hawking and his wife and it marks a re-team of the actor and Working Title partners Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner from Les Miserables. They are actively discussing the female lead, with an early fall start being eyed. Redmayne has also been courted to star with Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts in the Thomas Vinterberg-directed Far From The Madding Crowd, but I believe that his priority is the Hawking project written by Anthony McCarten. It is a potential tour de force role as Hawking, who has achieved so much despite his affliction with ALS. This opens the opportunity for the kind of work Daniel Day-Lewis turned in in My Left Foot and Mathieu Amalric in The Diving Bell And The Butterfly.
Cari Lynn is an AwardsLine contributor.
From the first time Brit Eddie Redmayne saw the musical Les Misérables when he was 9 years old, he knew he wanted to be a part of it — only his sights were set on the role of the young street kid, Gavroche. Little did Redmayne know he’d grow up to be the leading love interest and French rebel, Marius Pontmercy. Although he’s a relative newcomer to musicals, Redmayne has an impressive lineup of stage, film, and TV credits both in the U.S. and England, including his lead role in last year’s My Week With Marilyn, and a 2010 supporting actor Tony for Red. But it’s his role in the highly-anticipated Les Mis that has critics buzzing about Oscar—not bad for someone who casually says he’s always enjoyed singing.
AwardsLine: You’d worked with director Tom Hooper before?
Eddie Redmayne: I first met Tom on an audition for the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I (which Hooper directed), and he asked, “Eddie, have you ever ridden a horse?” To which I said, “Yes.” Cut to two weeks later, Helen Mirren is playing Elizabeth and there are 47 stunt horsemen behind me and I have spurs attached to my feet, and I’m like, “At what point do I admit having never ridden a horse in my life?” They call action, and I almost kill myself! Tom shouts, “You’re a bloody liar, Redmayne!” And it’s taken about seven years for him to consider employing me again. There are moments in (Les Mis) where I’m on a horse, and that’s basically Tom getting me back!
EXCLUSIVE: As Marvel Studios does each time it looks to land a lead for a superhero franchise, Kevin Feige’s hit-making studio has put together a short list for the lead in its next major project, Guardians Of The Galaxy. Marvel, after reportedly hiring James Gunn as director, has begun the effort to cast Peter Quill, the Guardians leader who is the offspring of a human mother and an alien father. I’m hearing that Marvel is making test deals with a small group of leading men. Here are the names: Zero Dark Thirty‘s Joel Edgerton, Boardwalk Empire‘s Jack Huston, Cloud Atlas‘ Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace (who has roles in both Lincoln and The Hobbit), and Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables.
I’ve confirmed all of them are in contention but can’t say definitively that this list is all-inclusive as I’ve also heard of interest from or in Garrett Hedlund, James Marsden (he already played Cyclops in X-Men, but then again Chris Evans played Fantastic Four‘s Human Torch before landing Captain America) and Edgerton’s Animal Kingdom co-star Sullivan Stapleton. We’ll stay tuned, but this certainly means that Marvel and Disney are serious about launching new superhero franchises.
Tim Adler is a contributor to AwardsLine.
It was an overcast morning in London last October when, in the magisterial headquarters of BAFTA, upstairs at 195 Piccadilly, 11 people were seated around a heavy wooden boardroom table, preparing to make a decision that could have a profound impact on some young actors’ future. Black and white photographs of previous BAFTA awards ceremonies — Britain’s closest equivalent to the Oscars — hung on the high-ceilinged walls. Sienna Miller, Simon Pegg and Harry Potter director David Yates were among those deciding who should make it onto the shortlist of eight names being proposed for this year’s Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award. (It would be down to customers of UK telco Orange to decide on the final five young stars being groomed for stardom.) The public votes for the winner, which will be announced along with all British Academy of Film and Television Arts winners tonight in London.
James McAvoy, Tom Hardy and Noel Clarke have won the Orange Rising Star in the past. That’s why the honor is important: It acts as a kind of early-warning system for Hollywood about talent coming its way. Hardy is now co-starring in the new Batman movie, while McAvoy was the lead in X-Men: First Class. Clarke will appear in the next instalment of Star Trek. “The Rising Star award is very useful in terms of shining a light on actors who have done a couple of roles but aren’t stars yet,” says jury chair Pippa Harris, producing partner of Sam Mendes. “Because it’s a public vote, it’s fantastic in terms of giving them a platform. The award is definitely something that Hollywood looks at for fresh talent.” Clarke, who got his first break in Doctor Who, is a case in point. WME picked the multi-hyphenate for U.S. representation after he won the Rising Star in 2009.
EXCLUSIVE: After a rousing response to the New York Film Festival premiere of My Week with Marilyn last Sunday, The Weinstein Company has added the film to this weekend’s Hamptons International Film Festival. My Week With Marilyn will screen …