Eddie Redmayne Plays a Transgender Trailblazer in First 'The Danish Girl' Trailer

·Writer

Eddie Redmayne is going to have another very busy winter.

The 33-year-old British actor won the Oscar for Best Actor earlier this year for his all-in portrayal of astrophysicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. And now, in the forthcoming The Danish Girl, he’s playing another trailblazer: Lili Elbe, a transgender woman who was one of the first publicly known recipients of gender-reassignment surgery.

The first trailer for the film, which is embedded above, clearly announces The Danish Girl as a top awards contender: It’s a period drama that tackles a very timely and important subject, and it’s got a heavy Oscar pedigree, thanks to Redmayne and director The King’s Speech and Les Miserables Tom Hooper.

Alicia Vikander (Ex-Machina) co-stars in the film as Gerda Gottlieb, the famed painter who was married to Elbe before Elbe transitioned from man to woman. As the trailer reveals, it was actually with Gottlieb’s encouragement that Elbe began publicly dressing and modeling as a woman; Elbe provided the inspiration for some of Gottlieb’s most famous paintings.

In a less enlightened time, Elbe blazed a path forward, both in politics and medicine: She underwent several early and experimental surgeries that led to severe health problems, and ultimately contributed to her death. But her story lived on, inspiring the 2000 novel by David Ebershoff, upon which this new film is based.

The Danish Girl will play at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival, and then hit theaters on November 27.