BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION: THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
If the main character of your book has more friends and fans than enemies, you must be aware of what you are writing. Jane Wilde Hawking experienced the hard way. She wrote a memoir about her life with well known cosmologist Stephen Hawking, called Music to Move the Stars: A Life with Stephen. The book was published in 1999. Soon the critics and fans of the scientist ripped apart the author. Poor Jane was described as selfish for pointing to the world how despotic the handicapped Stephen Hawking, who is suffering from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was.
During the publishing of Music to Move the Stars, Stephen and Jane had been already divorced and had remarried to another partners. Their relation wasn’t very good, but in time everything changed. Same as former Mrs Hawking’s reminiscences from her years spent together with the so called ”Puppeteer” from the first book. In fact the memoir was released four years after the scientist had remarried to his second wife Elaine.
In 2008 the new version found its place in the bookstores. It was named Traveling to Infinity: My life with Stephen. Did you notice the difference in the second title? “A life” versus “My life”. The brightening of the genius’s portrait was visible. It’s strange how Jane’s point of view was changed. Now the famous cosmologist became a hero. A man who fought his way against all odds. Take a look few sentences above when Hawking remarried. The updated book was published two years after he gave a divorce to his second wife Elaine. Tell me about the power of female jealousy.
Both books never became bestsellers despite the fact that Hawking is at the Top 10 of the most famous scientist in our planet. Traveling to Infinity is far more popular and received better reviews. Mainly because of the motion picture The Theory of Everything, who was billed as book adaptation. The publishers changed the second title to The True Story Behind The Theory of Everything. Smart move!
What is the truth of real Stephen Hawking, we will never know. An amazing personality and a very strong woman right next to him are shown as characters in the huge movie hit.
New Zealand’s novelist and scriptwriter Anthony McCarten was the driving force behind the creation of The Theory of Everything. He had been inspired by Stephen Hawking book A Brief History of Time (more than 5 million copies sold) and later read the remake of Jane’s memoire. The producer Lisa Bruce needed three years to convince Hawking’s first wife to approve the project. Academy award director for documentary Man on Wire James Marsh took the charge of the filming.
The casting was very successful. The producers hit the bull’s eye with Eddie Redmayne, who portrayed perfectly Stephen Hawking. Felicity Jones did great job taking the skin of Jane. The cosmologist and his former wife helped as much as they can for the reality of the movie. Stephen Hawking was so happy of the final result that he agreed his real life computer voice to be used in the movie.
The critics were writing mostly positive reviews. IMDB’s rating is very high – 7.8. Rotten Tomatoes’ score averaged 7.3, while Metacritic put 72 out of 100 points. My girlfriend cries sometimes on movies, but during The Theory of Everything I counted at least three times when her tears started to fall.
Eddie Redmayne already won Golden Globe for best leading male role. He is huge favorite of the bookies for Oscar. The Theory of Everything received additional four more nominations for Academy Awards.
The movie was released worldwide on November 26. With a budget of $15 millions currently the box office is booming with $91 million. Good job, guys!
Check out personally the difference between the first and second book here: