The Aeronauts: All you need to know about the epic film starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones

The Theory of Everything stars reunite as a pilot and a scientist who fight for survival to make discoveries in a hot air balloon. Find out more about the film and how to watch in the UK now.

By Sophia Moir Published: 8 January 2020 - 4.08pm
Film

Eddie Redmayne

Felicity Jones

Amazon Studios

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne reunite in epic adventure movie, The Aeronauts.

The Theory of Everything stars play a pilot and a scientist who find themselves in a fight for survival while attempting to make discoveries in a hot air balloon.

Inspired by true events, the thrilling film is directed by Tom Harper (Wild Rose) and written by Jack Thorne (Wonder).

From the full cast list to the storyline, we reveal everything we know about The Aeronauts so far…

How to watch The Aeronauts in the UK

Get your popcorn at the ready - The Aeronauts is streaming on Prime Video UK now.

It was thought that the film would be streaming on Prime Video as early as February 2020, according to ScreenDaily, as it’s an Amazon Studios production.

You’ll need a subscription to Amazon Prime to watch the film.

First look trailer: Get a glimpse of the action

The cast: Jones and Redmayne reunited

Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne reunite after appearing alongside one another as Stephen and Jane Hawking in the Oscar-winning movie The Theory of Everything, below.

The Theory of Everything still Universal Pictures
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Redmayne stars as real-life weather scientist James Glaisher, whereas Felicity Jones' character - the daredevil pilot Amelia Wren - has been created for the film but is based on a mixture of real-life aeronauts including Henry Coxwell, Sophie Blanchard and Margaret Graham.

Himesh Patel (Yesterday, EastEnders) stars as James’ friend John Trew, and Tom Courtenay (The Dresser, Doctor Zhivago) plays James' father, Arthur.

Phoebe Fox, Vincent Perez, Anne Reid, Tim McInnerny and Rebecca Front make up the rest of the cast.

Storyline info: What happens in The Aeronauts?

Set in 1862 and inspired by true events, The Aeronauts follows wealthy young widow Amelia Wren (Jones) and headstrong scientist James Glaisher (Redmayne), as they mount a balloon expedition to fly higher than anyone before. 

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 each of them find their place in the world they have left behind.

The Aeronauts film still 2 Universal Pictures

The film is based on a mix of historic hot air balloon flights, with the most significant flight in the film based on the 5 September, 1862, flight of British aeronauts James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell, whose hot air balloon broke the world flight altitude record, reaching about 11,887 m (38,999 ft).

Filming locations: From Greenwich to Oxford

The film was largely shot at the West London Film Studios, but was also filmed on location, with London filming spots including the Royal Naval College in Greenwich, and Regent's Park.

The movie also filmed at Wrotham Park and Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, Claydon House in Buckinghamshire, and the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.

Critics response to The Aeronauts: ‘A charming Victorian adventure’

Jeannette Catsoulis from The New York Times calls the film a "charming Victorian ballooning adventure", adding that it's "gorgeous and goofy, fanciful and unrepentantly old-fashioned".

Time Out gives it a 4-star rating, with Ellie Walker-Arnott writing that you'll want to "suspend all disbelief, hold tight to the wicker basket and go along for the ride".

Ian Freer from Empire praises the film's two leads, writing that Redmayne and Jones give "charm and charisma" alongside director Tom Harper's "grandstanding filmmaking".

The World of Celebrity's Hannah Wales sings high praise for the film's visual effects, writing that the "jaw-dropping" scenes make her feel like she‘s “thousands of feet up in the air with them”.

And Peter Bradshaw from The Guardian likens the film to the work of famous author JM Barrie "with our two Victorian idealist-adventurers resembling Peter Pan and Wendy heading for the second star to the right and straight on till morning”.

Fan reactions: ‘A spectacular adventure for the eyes’

The Aeronauts is streaming on Prime Video in the UK now.