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WATCH: Happy Valley star James Norton stars in emotional trailer for Netflix film Joy

The film explores the true story of the birth of IVF and the first 'test-tube-baby' Louise Joy Brown in 1978

Bill Nighy, Thomasin McKenzie, James Norton in Joy
Nicky Morris
TV and film writer
18 March 2024
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Netflix has dropped the first trailer for Joy, an upcoming original film that tells the extraordinary true story of the ground-breaking birth of Louise Joy Brown in 1978, the world's first 'test-tube-baby'.

Penned by Jack Thorne, the film is told from the perspective of Jean Purdy (Thomasin McKenzie), a young nurse and embryologist, who teams up with scientist Robert Edwards (James Norton) and surgeon Patrick Steptoe (Bill Nighy) to "unlock the puzzle of infertility by pioneering in vitro fertilization". 

The film "celebrates the power of perseverance and the wonders of science as it follows this maverick trio of visionaries who overcame tremendous odds and opposition to realize their dream, and in doing so allowed millions of people to dream with them". Watch the emotional trailer in the video below. 

WATCH: James Norton stars in upcoming Netflix film Joy

Speaking about the film at Next on Netflix, an event to showcase upcoming releases, Jack explained: "It's set between 1968 to 1978 and it's a story of three people who worked together despite the whole world being against them to try and bring up the story of infertility. There's Robert Edwards, who's a scientist, Jean Purdy who works with him and who has never been given the credit for this that she deserves and hopefully this film resets that slightly, and Patrick Steptoe, who's the surgeon and they don't get any support from the Medical Research Council. 

Bill Nighy, Thomasin McKenzie, James Norton in Joy© Netflix
Bill Nighy, Thomasin McKenzie, James Norton star in Joy

"They get abused in the press, they get abused by other people and they fight on, and it eventually results in the birth of Louise Joy Brown."

Rachel Mason, who is Jack's wife and helped with the story, said the drama is "very personal" to the couple, who themselves went through IVF. 

james norton as tommy lee royce© Photo: BBC
James Norton is perhaps best known for his role in Happy Valley

"I was approached to do the film and we've never worked together, but obviously having been through IVF I was like, yes, I'd love to get involved and I collaborated on the story and then Jack wrote the script," said Rachel. "But also, I run a support group through a charity. So it's very much of my world, so I wanted to get involved."

A release date has yet to be announced.

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