The big-screen adaptation of David Ebershoff's novel The Danish Girl is finally in production. Directed by Tom Hooper, the film stars Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne as trans Lili Elbe, the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery. The first photo of this year's Best Actor winner as Elbe has now been revealed, and it's sure to spark conversations.
A fictionalized account of Lili Elbe’s life, The Danish Girl is set in early 1900s Denmark and Paris and will focus on Elbe’s relationship with fellow illustrator Gerda Gottlieb. Before Elbe's surgical transition, the two married, but that union was annulled by the King of Denmark following Elbe’s legal name change and receipt of documentation confirming her gender as female.
Although many have called the recent trans visibility in TV, movies, magazines, fashion as a high watermark, Hollywood continues to cast cisgender (non-trans) men in trans roles, which has sparked debate. Although many of the productions have enlisted trans consultants — including Calpernia Adams, Zackary Drucker, and Rhys Ernst — last year's Oscar win for Jared Leto in Dallas Buyer's Club was contentious, and Jeffrey Tambor's award-winning role in Transparent also caused people to discuss the need for more trans actors. Now Redmayne will obviously have the same scrutiny.
The Danish Girl will also star Amber Heard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Alicia Vikander, and Ben Whishaw.