Focus Features

Focus Features

The name Stephen Hawking conjures up a certain image of the genius scientist, who is currently confined to a wheelchair and has been for many years, unable to speak with his own voice, using the assistance of a electronic voice box to express what he couldn’t say on his own. But the upcoming film The Theory of Everything from director James Marsh introduces audiences to a different Hawking (played here by Eddie Redmayne of Les Miserables), a young and absolutely brilliant student pursuing a Ph.D in physics at Cambridge to become a cosmologist while falling madly in love with a fellow student named Jane (Felicity Jones).

The first trailer for the film, written by Anthony McCarten (Death of a Superhero), paints an idyllic picture of campus life in Cambridge as Hawking and his love frolic in carefree bliss after meeting cute at a party. We watch them ride carousels, steal kisses and make pretty frequent comparisons to their love and Hawking’s work attempting to figure out the mysteries of space and time. It’s especially tragic when the young lovebirds don’t know about the storm brewing ahead — Hawking’s life-altering diagnosis of motor neuron disease, which comes on fiercely, robbing Hawking of his ability to move normally and speak.

Jane is by his side through his initial diagnosis and as the trailer progresses, it’s clear that audiences will see further into Professor Hawking’s life as a young man dealing with his debilitating disease. But though he has physical limitations, he and Jane are not hindered at all in their research or personal goals. The couple is shown happily swinging two little children in their arms while Hawking is already relegated to his wheelchair, and a happy but ailing Hawking marries his bride sometime before then, while he can still stand, surrounded by flowers. It’s Jane who apparently comes up with his speech system, as she’s seen in the trailer setting up the device that gives him the ability to translate his voice into electronic speech, and she then laments to her husband and his colleague that his voice is “American” now.

It’s made apparent that having Jane at his side is essential for Hawking’s success, as their love helps him persevere. Together they break new grounds in medicine and science. And obviously, he’s nothing short of magnificent when it comes to presenting his theories regarding the universe.

Check out the trailer below:

The Theory of Everything hits theaters November 7th, but we also named it one of the titles we’re excited to see at this September’s Toronto International Film Festival if you’re heading up to Canada this fall.


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