As well as being tipped for an Oscar, a new Stephen Hawking biopic has received praise from the man himself and brought hopes of a boost to UK film-makers. In The Theory of Everything, Eddie Redmayne portrays the celebrated cosmologist and physicist, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease aged 21. Based on A Life with Stephen, the memoir by Hawking’s first wife Jane Wilde, the film tells the story of the couple who fell in love while studying at Cambridge University in the Sixties. Redmayne, who also starred in Les Misérables and My Week with Marilyn, has already been named best breakthrough actor at November’s Turin film festival. “He portrayed me very well,” says Hawking. “At times I thought he was me.”
The Theory of Everything is produced by Working Title Films, the London-based production house founded in 1983 by Tim Bevan and Sarah Radclyffe, and noted for hits including Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones’s Diary and Les Misérables. Bevan remains as co-chair alongside film producer Eric Fellner. Universal Studios bought a majority share of the business in 1999 for a reported $600m (£382m). Under the terms of the deal Working Title Films has the provision to commission projects with a budget of up to $35m.
The Theory of Everything, in UK cinemas from 1 January