Production is underway in the UK on Joy, a Netflix feature based on the true story of the world’s first in vitro fertilisation baby, starring Thomasin McKenzie, Bill Nighy and James Norton.
Screen can reveal an exclusive first look at the film, above.
The film is directed by the UK’s Ben Taylor, who has previously directed episodes of Netflix’s Sex Education, with a script by Bafta-winning writer Jack Thorne who co-created the story with his wife Rachel Mason.
Joy is produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey of the UK’s Wildgaze, with executive producer Cameron McCracken for Pathe. The film is a UK production, operating under Equity.
Spanning from 1968 to 1978, the film will follow three trailblazers facing opposition from the church, state, media and medical establishment, in their pursuit of the world’s first ‘test tube baby’, Louise Joy Brown. The three figures are a young nurse, a visionary scientist and an innovative surgeon, played by McKenzie, Norton and Nighy respectively.
“I am a lifelong Jack Thorne fan, and it has been such a thrill to work with him and Rachel on my first feature film,” said Taylor. As the proud father of two boys, whose conception was only possible through IVF, this story is very close to my heart. It’s a great honour to tell the story of this heroic group, whose work has changed the world despite unimaginable opposition. Thomasin, James, and Bill are a treasure trove of talent. I’m thrilled that Pathe Wildgaze and Netflix trusted me with this brilliant tale.”
“It took Rachel, myself and seven rounds of IVF before we had Elliott. When the opportunity arose to tell the story, I jumped on it and suggested Rachel would like to jump as well,” added Thorne. “The more we learned, the more amazed and shocked we became at the audacity and lack of support of the scientific community.” It’s an incredible story. Working on this with our incredible cast, wonderful director Ben and the brilliant producers at Wildgaze, Pathe and Netflix has been a joy.”
Dwyer and Posey’s Wildgaze is best known for prestige award-winning UK features including An Education with Carey Mulligan and Brooklyn with Saoirse Ronan.
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