Hugh Jackman has signed on to join Kingsman: The Secret Service star Taron Egerton in the languishing biopic Eddie the Eagle. Taron Egerton won the title role after a "magical screen test" with Hugh Jackman, beating out several other actors such as George MacKay, Jamie Bell and Daniel Kaluuya. Eddie the Eagle is based on the true story of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, the first British ski jumper in Olympic history.
Although he took last place in both of his ski jumping events at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Eddie the Eagle Edwards became a media sensation. Hugh Jackman will play Chuck Berghorn, a ski jumping expert from Lake Placid who helps Eddie train for the Calgary Olympics. This project has been languishing in development for several years, with actors such as Steve Coogan and Rupert Grint once attached to play Eddie.
Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill, Untitled Freddie Mercury Biopic) is directing from a script by Simon Kelton and Sean Macaulay, with Matthew Vaughn attached to produce. The filmmakers are also eyeing Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) to play Eddie's father, but it isn't known if he will sign on or not. Production is tentatively scheduled to begin this spring, with some scenes possibly shot in Cheltenham, where the real Eddie the Eagle grew up.
Hugh Jackman will next be seen in Chappie and Pan, both scheduled for release later this year. Taron Egerton's Kingsman: The Secret Service hits theaters on February 13, and he also stars in the upcoming Testament of Youth.