back to article Stephen Hawking biopic: Big on romance, not so much with the science?

The first trailer for Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything hints at a movie heavy on the romance and tragedy of the renowned physicist’s life. Trailer for Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything The film, based on Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, the memoir of Hawking’s first wife Jane Wilde, …

  1. David Kelly 2

    Hollywood Doesn't Understand

    Hollywood doesn't understand anything they can't manipulate at the whim of a screenwriter.

    Romance, wars, faster than light travel, Klingons, they understand. Science they do not.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Hollywood Doesn't Understand

      But in this movie he is American and is made bionic so he can walk again and save the world from evil steady-state theorists following a race through Cambridge in a jet powered punt.

      1. Duffy Moon

        Re: Hollywood Doesn't Understand

        I would like to see that. Sounds great!

    2. Charles Manning

      Re: Hollywood Doesn't Understand

      Yes they do understand.

      Chick flicks sell.

      Science documentaries don't.

  2. Cipher

    Thanks el Reg...

    ...I can skip this flick now and not worry that I missed any science. Soap Operas are not my area of interest...

  3. joeW

    Never heard about the BBC bio before - is it worth a watch?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      check it out on zxcv.fm :(

    2. Richard 81

      Thought it was good. Interesting and touching, without Hollywood fluff. I've no way of knowing how accurate a portrayal it is though.

  4. CAPS LOCK Silver badge

    It won't be better than the BBC version. Ben does an awesome Stephen.

    Oh look, here it is now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PNd1rldj0k

  5. Mark Jan
    Go

    Big Bang

    They should have used the same guy that the Big Bang Theory used.

    He was excellent: looked just like the man himself.

    I know they don't need the robot voice, but he had that nailed as well.

  6. gary27
    FAIL

    Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

    I have never understood why Mr Hawking is so revered in the UK?

    Just because he speaks with a robotic metallic voice, does not mean that he says anything sensible or useful.

    He book was ok, as a sort of text book, for explaining complex physics to lay persons.

    He is though nowhere near an Einstein or Newton as many seem to believe.

    Nothing original that adds to our understanding of this amazing complex vast universe.

    He believes that this all came from a single explosion!

    He even has the the audacity to put a timestamp on it !!

    The simplistic big bang theory is impossible to prove or disprove – so to to talk about such as fact, implies that he is either, a bit thick or lying.

    Big Bang is about as likely to be true as a Greek Myth.

    Lying though is par for the course for so called modern Scientists, these grant seeking parasites are the scourge of our times creating new religions such as the co2 is evil lunacy.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

      Something, something, ... downvote crown, something .... troll award.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Paul Kinsler

      Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

      Regarding your fourth sentence specifically, you are right in that Hawking is neither an Einstein or Newton; his scientific output simply doesn't have the widespread implications and/or impact of either - but then neither do the results of most scientists, however eminent.

      Nevertheless, his personal circumstances, what with the wheelchair & robot voice do give the media a nice hook with which to sell stories about his work and/or life to the public. Thus the public have heard of him, and since the public generally admires and trusts scientists, his public profile exceeds his scientific impact.

      But I don't think that outcome is a reason to be quite as negative about him as you seem to be; especially as he is neither responsible for the (cosmological) Big Bang theory, or any scientific CO2/climate predictions that I'm aware of.

      No need to downvote, a reply is more useful.

    4. Steven Jones

      Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

      Revered worldwide I'd say. Hardly just a UK phenomenon. However, you surely know the answer. It is that image of a great mind (and it is a great mind) trapped in a flawed body. Icons matter.

    5. VinceH

      Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

      "I have never understood why Mr Hawking is so revered in the UK?"

      Sheldon, what have I told you about logging onto forums under an assumed name to be nasty about people, just because they've upset you again. It's not big, and it's not clever. Stop doing it.

      --Leonard

      1. DJO Silver badge

        Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

        The simplistic big bang theory is impossible to prove or disprove

        simplistic? If you think it's simple then you plainly do not understand it and if you don't understand it you are in no position to pass judgement upon it.

        Simple - sheeesh, he plainly hasn't seen the maths involved.

        As for a simple correlation but not proof, the universe is expanding, if you run the clock backwards what do you get and when do you get it? (for one answer see what Hawking & Hubble had to say)

        1. gary27

          Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

          So complicated maths mean it must be correct ? of course I understand now !

          All so called experts like to bamboozle, eg lawyers with their legalese and the majority of gullable fools continue to believe in their charade.

          Einstein's equation e = mc2 can be easily understood and has stood scrutiny by many.

          I remember the huge fuss, when some eminent Italian scientists said Einstein was wrong, a few years ago, I instinctively knew they were mistaken, turned out they had got their sums a bit wrong.

          Your argument makes me think of an amoeba, inside an expanding bubble, maybe you are a bit more intelligent, but you can't seem to imagine anything outside your bubble.

          Is it that hard to imagine, or do you only believe in what you can observe, or do you have no imagination?

          1. frank ly

            Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

            " ... e = mc2 can be easily understood ..."

            If you believe that, you've been gulled.

          2. DJO Silver badge

            Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

            So complicated maths mean it must be correct ? of course I understand now

            Good grief of course not, that's a really stupid thing to deduce from what I wrote.

            Correlation does not imply causation.

            There is obviously no link between the complexity and correctness or otherwise, why I mentioned it was because if you had seen the maths involved in the fine detail of the big bang theory and understood any of it, then "simple" is not a word you would ever contemplate using. (Unless you were perhaps a former Lucasian professor of mathematics or had studied maths to a similar level)

          3. BlartVersenwaldIII

            Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

            Who is the Journal of Quantum Physics going to believe?

          4. Lazar

            Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

            So what do you believe then? That the universe is create by some supreme being only a few thousands of years ago?

            At least Stephen Hawking had the curiosity to try to figure it out rather than accept what he's been told.

            Also, because the universe is so massive and so old, you can't prove what happened, only theorize. And a lot of what Hawking theorized is as close as to what OTHER scientist believe.

            You know, that's why they are called THEORETICAL PHYSICISTS. Our science isn't advanced enough (if ever) to test these theories.

            What more do you want? The truth? Considering the comments you've made, you can't handle the truth. I know I don't understand the majority of his work, but at least you got to admire him for trying, and being diagnosed with motor neurone disease at 21, initially given a life expectancy of 2 years and still alive 52 FUCKING years later. Clearly someone/body/thing wanted him to carry on living.

            I, for one, admire him and want him to continue to give us his views on what was and what might be.

          5. Richard 81

            Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

            "All so called experts like to bamboozle"

            No, they're used to talking to people who have learned their particular technical language, the use of which provides the most concise way of conveying an idea. OK, if you read a few PhD theses you'll find examples of unnecessarily complex language, but then these are written by insecure junior scientists. Once you get to Hawking's level, you no longer have anything prove and you use big words not to show off or confuse but because you have big ideas to convey.

            Finally, I'd like to know your alternative hypothesis, gary27. I'd hate to think I'm wasting my time on a loony.

          6. Tom 38 Silver badge

            Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

            Don't fall for it, don't fall for it, don't fall for it, don't fall for it....

            I remember the huge fuss, when some eminent Italian scientists said Einstein was wrong, a few years ago, I instinctively knew they were mistaken, turned out they had got their sums a bit wrong.

            You cretin. They 100% did not say that "Einstein was wrong". What they said was "We've done this experiment, it was supposed to show us X, but instead we're noticing that it suggests Y. We've re-checked all our sums and measurements, and we can't figure it out - here is our data".

            You've para-phrased that as "cocky scientists are always wrong and I can use my gut to say whether they are full of shit or not". Cretinous cretin.

    6. Nigel The Pigeon

      Re: Mr Hawking – Over-rated - Big Bang Mythology

      "He believes that this all came from a single explosion!"

      Not did any scientist, ever, claim or believe that the Big Bang was an explosion. That is just what people who watch Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity believe.

      <sarc>And as for Hawking radiation, yeah sure, any common or garden peasant could think of that, so whats all the hype about?</sarc>

      Maybe we revere him because he is an internationally famous, lucasian professor of mathematics, and self-made multimillionaire author, who is also a paraplegic?

  7. Crazy Operations Guy
    Joke

    If I wanted to see an arrogant man with a high-IQ destroy his marriage for 2 hours, I'd go to a Mensa meeting...

    1. Fungus Bob
      Boffin

      Re: see an arrogant man with a high-IQ destroy his marriage

      There is only one Mensa joke - all the rest are true.

  8. TeeCee Gold badge
    Coat

    Dumbing down the Physics.

    Is that dumbing down by our standards or his?

  9. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    But...the movie is based on an autobiography of his wife, not Stephen Hawking.

    So no harm in less physics as I see it.

    Besides, who wants to pay 10 bux to have two hours of hard sums pounded at them?

  10. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    But who will they cast as Davros?

    http://www2.b3ta.com/hawking/

  11. skeptical i

    Hmmm.

    Missed opportunity to educate moviegoers on even a dumbed down version of the science? Check.

    Overemphasis on romance (yawn)? Check.

    So I'll likely either give it a miss or wait for my library to get it on DVD.

    However, if a "Hawking for dummies" flick piques people's interest in his work and prompts them to seek it out (and accidentally learn something), maybe it's not entirely a bad thing.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if they focus on romance...

    Gotta wonder what audience they're after.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: if they focus on romance...

      Teenage girls who dig quantum vacuum fluctuations ?

  13. k9gardner

    Don't bet on it.

    I can't think of anything – really, not a single thing – that I would less want to know about than Stephen Hawking's romantic life. But don't bet your money that that's what the movie is about. In my experience, and in yours too, if you really think about it, it's not the filmmakers that are perverse, it's the trailer-makers. Trailers are made by different studios than the pictures themselves. These guys are allowed for some indeterminable reason to take excruciating liberties with the actual meat and meaning of the flick to drum up buzz for the film, even if the trailer bears little or no resemblance to the film. I am not saying I'm going to rush out to see the movie, but I might, if early reviews of the movie, rather than of the trailer, are positive at all.

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