The spec THE AERONAUTS from Jack Thorne is nearing a deal to find a home at Amazon Studios after an intensive round of bidding with various studios. Tom Harper, who recently directed the BBC miniseries adaptation of War & Peace is attached to helm the film.
The project is based on the true story of pilot Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher who, in 1862, flew higher in an open balloon than anyone before or after ever has in search of discoveries and the truth of the heavens. However, their ascent led to perilous dangers and they were forced to fight for their survival.
Todd Lieberman and David Hoberman of Mandeville Films are producing. The production banner, which is housed under Disney, most recently produced the western The Duel co-starring Woody Harrelson and Liam Hemsworth and just finished work on the Jacob Tremblay vehicle Wonder (which Thorne worked on) as well as the highly anticipated live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
Amazon, meanwhile, is currently doing well for itself with an Oscar frontrunner in the drama Manchester by the Sea.
Thorne is a prominent British writer who first came onto the scene as a writer on the popular BBC series Skins, for which he’s currently working on the script for the feature film adaptation. He most recently wrote the 2014 film A Long Way Down and is currently working on a variety of projects, including a TV series adaptation of the book series His Dark Materials as well as film adaptations of the Neil Gaiman creations Sandman and The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Other than War & Peace, Harper has experience directing both film and television. He worked on the Netflix and BBC 2 series Peaky Blinders and directed last year’s sequel The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death. Coming up he’s directing Lost for Words and just wrapped on the AMC pilot The Son.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by Deadline.