Now is a very popular time for historically important women to be made the subjects of biopics, with every studio head worth their salt digging back deep into the annals of elementary school in search of untapped resources. But just because a movie about the physicist and chemist Marie Curie already exists doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve another one!
According to Variety, Amazon Prime Video and Studiocanal have partnered to create the film version of Lauren Redniss’ 2010 graphic novel Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout, with Rosamund Pike tapped to star as Curie.
A large part of me wants to be bitter that the film risks reducing the first woman Nobel Prize winner (and only woman to win it twice) to a stupid love story, but the book’s description on Amazon does make it sound enthralling:
In 1891, 24-year-old Marie Sklodowska moved from Warsaw to Paris, where she found work in the laboratory of Pierre Curie, a scientist engaged in research on heat and magnetism. They fell in love. They took their honeymoon on bicycles. They expanded the periodic table, discovering two new elements with startling properties, radium and polonium. They recognized radioactivity as an atomic property, heralding the dawn of a new scientific era. They won the Nobel Prize. Newspapers mythologized the couple’s romance, beginning articles on the Curies with “Once upon a time . . . “ Then, in 1906, Pierre was killed in a freak accident. Marie continued their work alone. She won a second Nobel Prize in 1911, and fell in love again, this time with the married physicist Paul Langevin. Scandal ensued. Duels were fought.
Bicycles! Polonium! A freak accident! So far, so good. The biopic, called Radioactive, is being directed by Marjane Satrapi, who is best known for her wildly successful graphic novel Persepolis, which went on to become an Academy Award-nominated film. The script is being written by Jack Thorne, previously a writer on Skins, which you know as the finest British coming-of-age show in existence.
Filming is currently underway in Budapest, though the movie doesn’t yet have a release date.