While he finished last place in both of his ski jumping events at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards still went on to become an international sensation. His incredible true story will be told on the big screen in Eddie the Eagle, the upcoming biopic starring Taron Egerton as the title character and Hugh Jackman as his coach. While we wait for the first trailer to arrive, USA Today has new photos from this drama, which is set for release on April 1, 2016.
Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards became the first British ski jumper in Olympic history at the 1988 games, and he became an international celebrity following the games despite his poor performance. His performance at the games also lead to what became known as the "Eddie the Eagle Rule," which was put in place by the International Olympic Committee after the Calgary games. The rule requires Olympic hopefuls to compete in international events and be placed in either the top 30 percent or the top 50 competitors. USA Today spoke with Hugh Jackman, who revealed how inspired he was by watching Eddie the Eagle.
"Eddie the Eagle is a folk hero. He's British, but Eddie embodies that quintessential have-a-go quality that Aussies love. He really just went for it as the whole world watched."
We reported earlier this year that Hugh Jackman is playing Chuck Berghorn, a ski expert who helped Edwards train for the games. Christopher Walken also stars as Berghorn's own mentor, although no specific details were given for his character. Hugh Jackman also had this to say about how his young co-star Taron Egerton resembled the real Eddie on the set.
"My jaw was on the ground. There was a photo of Taron next to the real Eddie the Eagle in the makeup trailer and I would stare at it going, 'Which one is Taron?' It was phenomenal."
Taron Egerton also said this film follows 'the spirit' of the Olympic quest, which takes a few liberties with the true story, including Hugh Jackman's character, since the real Eddie couldn't afford a coach. The actor added that he became "quite emotional" after watching the finished movie for the first time, calling it a mix between the Jamaican bobsled movie Cool Runnings and Billy Elliot. Here's what his co-star Hugh Jackman had to say about why kids should watch this film.
"Every kid should see this movie, because it reminds people that you don't have to win to be a winner. Eddie the Eagle might not have ended up on the medal podium, but he was victorious. It's a story of a man who had a dream, and nothing was going to stop him."
Dexter Fletcher (Wild Bill, Sunshine on Leith) is directing from a screenplay by Simon Kelton and Sean Macaulay, with Matthew Vaughn attached to produce. Before he turned to filmmaking, Dexter Fletcher was an actor who starred in Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels and Matthew Vaughn's Layer Cake, Stardust and Kick-Ass. Take a look at the first photos from Eddie the Eagle below.