'Eddie the Eagle' lands safely in London

Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:52am EDT
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LONDON - - The true story of unlikely sportsman Michael "Eddie" Edwards, who became the first competitor to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping, comes to cinema screens in feel-good comedy "Eddie the Eagle".

    Despite his relatively poor performance at the 1988 Calgary games, the athlete captured the hearts of fans and the media with his enthusiasm.

    In the film, the title role is played by rising British actor Taron Egerton while Australian star Hugh Jackman portrays fictional coach Bronson Peary.

    "I was a huge fan when I heard about Eddie," Egerton told Reuters at the movie's premiere in London on Thursday night.

    "We always wanted to create something that was very affectionate and celebratory and ... championed him and reminded people that actually what he did was a really cool, amazing thing."

    Edwards, who was also at the premiere, said he was surprised at seeing his life portrayed on the big screen.

    "I never thought 28 years ago that this would happen," he said. "They've done a fantastic job. And I've seen it three times and I cry every time I see it."

    "Kingsman" actor Egerton, who was nominated for a rising star award at this year's BAFTAs, has seen his name in the spotlight recently due to speculation over Disney's search for a young Han Solo in the "Star Wars" franchise.

     According to The Hollywood Reporter, he could be one of the actors being considered for the part, made famous by Harrison Ford. The other main contenders are "Hail, Caesar!" actor Alden Ehrenreich and Jack Reynor ("Transformers: Age of Extinction"), according to the article, which cited multiple sources.   Continued...