The Theory of Everything


The Film

The Theory of Everything is a 2014 British-produced biographical romantic drama film, directed by James Marsh. It was adapted by Anthony McCarten from the memoir 'Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen' by Jane Wilde Hawking, which deals with her relationship with her ex-husband, theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, and his success in physics.

The film stars Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones with Charlie Cox, Emily Watson, Simon McBurney, Christian McKay, and David Thewlis featured in supporting roles. The film had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival on 7 September 2014.

The film opened to a positive reception worldwide and was nominated for a variety of accolades in award shows and film festivals.

For his performance as Stephen Hawking, Eddie Redmayne won several awards and nominations including the 2015 Academy Award for Best Actor.

The Theory of Everything received four 2015 Golden Globe Award nominations, winning the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama for Redmayne and Best Original Score for Jóhannsson.

It received three 21st Screen Actors Guild Awards nominations, winning one for the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role for Redmayne.

The Theory of Everything received 10 nominations for the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA), and went on to win three: Outstanding British Film, Best Leading Actor (for Redmayne) and Best Adapted Screenplay (for McCarten).

Cinema Trailer




Screenwriter Anthony McCarten had been interested in Hawking since reading his seminal book 'A Brief History of Time' in 1988. In 2004, McCarten read Jane Hawking's memoir 'Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen', and subsequently began writing a screenplay adaptation of the book with no guarantees in place. He met numerous times with Jane at her home to discuss the project. After multiple drafts, he was introduced in 2009 to producer Lisa Bruce via their mutual ICM agent, Craig Bernstein.

Bruce spent three years with McCarten further convincing Jane Hawking to agree to a film adaptation of her book, with Bruce stating, "It was a lot of conversation, many glasses of sherry, and many pots of tea."

On 18 April 2013, James Marsh was confirmed to direct the film with the shooting being based in Cambridge and at other locations in the United Kingdom, with Eddie Redmayne courted to fill the male lead. On 23 June 2013, it was revealed that Felicity Jones was confirmed to play the film's female lead role opposite Redmayne. On 8 October 2013, it was confirmed that Emily Watson and David Thewlis had joined the cast, and that Working Title's Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, and Anthony McCarten would be producing the piece.

Filmmaker Marsh had studied archival images to give the film its authenticity, stating, "When we had photographs and documentary footage of Stephen that related to our story, we tried to reproduce them as best we could."

Redmayne met with Hawking himself, commenting, "Even now, when he's unable to move, you can still see such effervescence in his eyes." He described portraying Hawking on-screen as a 'hefty' challenge, adding that, "The real problem with making a film is of course you don’t shoot chronologically. So it was about having to really try and chart his physical deterioration [so] you can jump into it day-to-day, whilst at the same time keeping this spark and wit and humour that he has."

Redmayne spent six months researching Hawking's life, watching every piece of interview footage he could find of him. Marsh stated that what Redmayne had to do was not easy. "He had to take on enormous amounts of difficult preparation as well as embracing the difficult physicality of the role. It's not just doing a disability. It's actually charting the course of an illness that erodes the body, and the mind has to project out from that erosion," he said. He added that Hawking gave him his blessing and also revealed that, "[Hawking's] response was very positive, so much so that he offered to lend his voice, the real voice that he uses. The voice you hear in the latter part of the story is in fact Stephen's actual electronic voice as he uses it". It was revealed to the Toronto International Film Festival audience that as the lights came up at a recent screening, a nurse had wiped a tear from Hawking's cheek.

Jane Hawking, speaking on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, spoke of meeting Jones several times while Jones prepared for the role. When she saw the finished film, she was amazed to see that Jones had incorporated her mannerisms and speech patterns into her performance.


Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking
Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde Hawking
Charlie Cox as Jonathan Jones, Jane's second husband
Emily Watson as Beryl Wilde, Jane's mother
Simon McBurney as Frank Hawking, Stephen's father
David Thewlis as Dennis Sciama
Maxine Peake as Elaine Mason, Stephen's second wife
Harry Lloyd as Brian, Hawking’s roommate
Guy Oliver-Watts as George Wilde, Jane's father
Abigail Cruttenden as Isobel Hawking, Stephen's mother
Charlotte Hope as Phillipa Hawking, Stephen's sister
Lucy Chappell as Mary Hawking, Stephen's sister
Christian McKay as Roger Penrose
Enzo Cilenti as Kip Thorne
Georg Nikoloff as Isaak Markovich Khalatnikov
Alice Orr-Ewing as Diana King, sister of Basil King, Stephen's friend
Stephen Hawking provides his own computerised voice
Nicola Victoria Buck as Cockroft guest 2
Frank Leboeuf as Swiss doctor


By 8 October 2013, principal photography had begun, with the shooting being based in Cambridge and at other locations in the United Kingdom.

Prior to the start of principal photography, Working Title had begun shooting on the lawn in front of the New Court building from 23 September 2013 to 27 September 2013; they filmed the Cambridge May Ball scene, set in 1963. On 24 September 2013, scenes were filmed at St John’s College, The Backs in Queen’s Road and Queen’s Green. The New Court lawn and Kitchen Bridge were included features in the filming location. The May Ball scene was the last of the outside shoots, with filming in a lecture theatre the following day and the remaining filming completed in the studio over the final five weeks of production.

The pyrotechnic specialists Titanium Fireworks, who developed the displays for the London 2012 Olympic Games, provided three identical firework displays for the May Ball scene.


Composer Jóhann Jóhannsson scored The Theory of Everything.

His score in the film has been described as including "[Jóhannsson's] signature blend of acoustic instruments and electronics."

Jóhannsson commented that "it always involves the layers of live recordings, whether it's orchestra or a band or solo instrument, with electronics and more soundscape-y elements which can come from various sources".

The soundtrack was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.