Eddie Redmayne has signed on to play Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. The project is based on David Ebershoff’s novel, The Danish Girl, a fictionalized account of Elbe’s life. According to Deadline, the film will focus on Elbe’s relationship with her wife, artist Gerda Gottlieb. The duo married in 1904, and Elbe famously served as a model for Gottlieb’s paintings. Having lived as a woman on the streets of Paris for years, Elbe underwent one of the first gender reassignment surgeries in 1930, then died of complications from another surgery just a year later. The project reunites Redmayne with his Les Misérables director Tom Hooper.
Numerous attempts have been made to adapt The Danish Girl over the years, and a slew of female stars have been attached to play Gerda—including Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Gwyneth Paltrow. As of now, other than Redmayne, no one else has been cast, though perhaps Hooper could bring in Redmayne’s Les Miz co-star Amanda Seyfried, and bill the project as a sort of Cosette & Marius: The Later Years.