Amazon has reportedly outbid a whole host of rivals to nab feature film The Aeronauts.
The spec script attracted attention from what Deadline reports as at least six companies, all hoping to snap up the project, which follows the true story of balloon pilot Amelie Wren and scientist James Glaisher. Set in 1862, as the duo embark on a journey that will take their open balloon higher than anyone else in history, the pair find that they are eventually forced into a fight not just for discovery, but for survival.
Amazon faced down competition from rivals, with Deadline reporting their winning bid was a seven-figure sum. Why was the bidding so heated? Aside from the true nature of the tale, the answer lies in the person who wrote it: Jack Thorne.
Thorne has increasingly established himself as a top British screenwriter over recent years, from his work on Skins and This Is England to The Fades and The Last Panthers, not to mention Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. In a sign of how much bigger he’s still to become, he recently signed on to the BBC’s upcoming adaptation of Philip Pullman’s epic trilogy, His Dark Materials, produced by New Line and Bad Wolf.
Tom Harper is set to direct and has proven equally sought-after, with his work on This Is England and Misfits, in addition to Peaky Blinders and War & Peace.
The movie will be produced by Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films, which recently produced David O. Russell’s The Fighter, as well as Disney’s live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
The Aeronauts would mark another major production on Amazon’s books, following The Man in the High Castle, The Grand Tour and sci-fi epic The Book of Strange New Things.