7 Things You Need To Know About Tom Harper’s ‘The Aeronauts’

Inspired by the zeal to make a discovery, English aeronaut, astronomer, and meteorologist James Glaisher embarks on an adventure to reach an altitude that has never been achieved by any man. All of these are portrayed in the 2019 action-adventure romantic biography film titled The Aeronauts. As James attempts to make a discovery on how to reach the sky using a gas balloon, he and his co-pilot Amelia Wren find themselves in a fight to survive this daring task. But what more is there to know about The Aeronauts? Here are the facts you should know.

It’s An Amazon Original Movie

Amazon Studios purchased the rights to produce the film in late 2016 but it wasn’t until the summer of 2018 that key stars – Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones were confirmed to play pivotal roles in the film. Filming of The Aeronauts began in the summer of 2018. The film was produced by Mandeville Films and FilmNation Entertainment. It was distributed by Amazon Studios in the United States and eOne in the United Kingdom. The film was produced with a budget of $40 million.

Who Are The Film’s Actors?

Eddie Redmayne – a multiple award-winning English actor and star of the Fantastic Beast film series – stars in The Aeronauts as the male lead character James Glaisher. Felicity Jones stars on the film as Amelia Wren, the co-pilot of James Glaisher.

Other actors include Hamesh Patel, a British actor who stars in the film as John Trew, a friend to James Glaisher. Tom Courtenay stars on the film as James’s father, Arthur Glaisher.

Phoebe Fox, Anne Reid, Vincent Perez, Rebecca Front, and Tim McInnerny also appear in The Aeronauts.

The Aeronauts
The Aeronauts cast and crew members

The Film’s Release Date

The film made its United States premiere on December 6, 2019. Before it was released in the United States, the film had been released in other parts of the world. It made its world premiere on August 30, 2019, at the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado. It has also been shown at the Toronto International Film Festival. On November 4, 2019, the film made its United Kingdom premiere.

Ratings And Critics Response

So far, the film has received mostly positive critics. Notable film journalists have praised the film producers for a good job. One applauded the chemistry of the lead actors, while another journalist praised the film’s visuals. Fionnuala Halligan of Screen International gave it a 90, while Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter awarded it an 80, Gregory Ellwood of The Playlist gave it a 75 while Tomris Laffly of Variety also rated the film 70.

Understandably, the ratings of the film are high as well. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film earned 83% from 30 reviews. On IMDb, it received a  6.2/10 score from 466 reviews. On Metacritic, the film earned a 68% rating.

Historical Figures Portrayed In The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts has some historical significance as it depicts two British aeronauts, James Glaisher and Sir George Biddell Airy. James Glaisher was known to be a meteorologist, astronomer, and aeronaut.

James was born on April 7, 1809, in Rotherhithe, London, England and passed away on February 7, 1903, in Croydon, London, England. He was famous for being a pioneer balloonist. James Glaisher was portrayed in the film by Eddie Redmayne.

Sir George Biddell Airy, on the other hand, is an English mathematician and astronomer born on July 27, 1801, in Alnwick, Northumberland, England. The Mathematician passed away on January 2, 1892, in Greenwich, London, England. Tim McInnerny played the role of Airy in the film.

The Aeronauts’ Adaptation And Accuracy

Storylines of the film were adapted from several books which gave details of James Glaisher and Henry Coxwell record-breaking flight altitude. While James was well portrayed in the film, Henry was replaced with a female fictional character named Amelia Wren.

What About The Film’s Director?

The Aeronauts was directed by the English film and TV director, Tom Harper. Tom is not just a director, he is also a film producer, screenwriter, editor and cinematographer. As the director of The Aeronauts, he also co-produced and co-wrote the film as well.

Tom Harper began his filmmaking career in 1998 and worked on a host of films and TV shows. Some of his most notable jobs are Wild Rose (2018), War & Peace (2015) and Peaky Blinders (2013).


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