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Tom Hardy is no stranger to playing biographical characters. In fact, almost a quarter of his movies have been based upon real life stories. If you took time to watch all his performances, especially biopics, there's one particular Tom Hardy feature that stands out. Although it seems to be lacklustre very rarely or in some cases untrue to the source, one example being his Jewish caricature in Peaky Blinders, accent seem to be his stronghold. It is also something Leonardo DiCaprio lacks that made me love Tom Hardy's performance in The Revenant.
Nicolas Winding Refn's Bronson, John Hillcoat's Lawless and Brian Helgeland's Legend are some of his noteworthy roles in the biographical spectrum. Naturally, Refn's direction makes me love Bronson but Tom Hardy's dual role as the twin gangsters, the Kray Brothers is bloody bonkers and it has the guy who plays Arthur Shelby in Peaky Blinders, you know the one who yells "By order of the Peaky Blinders." Everybody needs to watch that movie.
Touching on the topic of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and why he deserve a movie, a small historical background information will be dispatched below.
Before 1800s, there were only six continents known to Mankind. Antarctica was a land mass that wasn't confirmed until 1820 although James Cook's ships crossed the Antarctic Circle in1770s. It was all hypothetical without recorded proof.
Once word spread about the existence of a new land, explorers, scientists, bored vagabonds, ordinary adventurous men, courageous souls set sail. It was a Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a key figure alongside alongside Roald Amundsen and Robert Falcon Scott.
“For scientific discovery give me Scott; for speed and efficiency of travel give me Amundsen; but when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton.”
Shackleton led three British expeditions to the Antarctic but is best remembered in how he handled adversity. In 1914, Shackleton with 27 crew members and 69 dogs launched The Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition to cross the breadth of Antarctica on foot. He bought an icebreaker and named it 'Endurance' after his family motto, ‘By Endurance, We conquer'. War with Germany broke out on the same day and Shackleton was all set to relinquish his ship when a one-word telegram arrived from Sir Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, ordering the crew to: “Proceed”.
This was Shackleton third and final trip to Antarctica and what followed in the next 20 months was worthy enough to be retold more than a thousand times. Nature can be cantankerous especially when your ship is trapped under fast ice while you're just 85 miles from destination. The crew abandoned the ship and lived on sub-zero temperatures. 10 months later, the ship sank.
In April 1916, they set off in three small boats, eventually reaching Elephant Island. Taking five crew members, Shackleton went to find help. In a small boat, the six men spent 16 days struggled through hurricane, starvation and dehydration across 1,300 km of ocean to reach South Georgia and then trekked across the island to a whaling station. The remaining men were rescued in August 1916. Not one died in the expedition.
Thanks to expedition photographer Frank Hurley and Shackleton's diary, this final chapter in the Heroic Age of Exploration has encouraged many a soul. Shackleton passed away on his fourth expedition at the age of 47. A relatively middle age but Shackleton had all the experiences a man could ask for in one lifetime I suppose. I would have very much liked it if this subject had been touched upon by the late David Lean.
The movie will have Tom Hardy rejoining Oscar-nominated Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy screenwriter Peter Straughan; financed by Studiocanal. No details available for now. Before you leave, check out this documentary by the National Geographic.