Tom Harper's hot air balloon thriller hits theaters and Amazon Prime later this year.

By Joey Nolfi
October 24, 2019 at 02:54 PM EDT

The Theory of Everything costars Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne are soaring toward awards season in the new trailer for director Tom Harper’s air balloon epic The Aeronauts.

A reality-based thriller loosely based on the research of famed meteorologist James Glaisher (Redmayne), The Aeronauts dramatizes his work with the help of a character conglomerate, Amelia Wren (Jones), who serves as his brainy copilot who harbors a flair for colorfully publicizing their exploits as much as she cares about scientific exploration.

The film follows the unlikely pair in a reimagining of Glashier’s 1862 excursion with fellow aeronaut Henry Coxwell (whom Wren replaces in the movie), charting their dangerous mission to examine the earth’s weather patterns from the sky while they venture higher than any human before them in a giant hot air balloon.

It’s not all smooth sailing, however, as the new trailer teases their dizzying bouts with fierce storms, frigid temperatures, and broken equipment that threatens to literally burst their bubble and send them plummeting back to earth before finishing their research.

EW caught up with the co-leads and their director as the trio presented the film at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, where they recalled working with an adorable fake pooch for one of the film’s lighter scenes in which Wren flings a canine out of the balloon with a parachute attached to its back.

“We had three dogs: a real dog, who was lovely, then we had a stunt dog, which was actually very expensive,” Harper said, adding that a CGI dog was used to complete the scene as well, while Redmayne — who won an Academy Award for playing Stephen Hawking opposite Jones in The Theory of Everything — clarifies: “A stunt dog, just to be clear, is not a real dog trained in stunts, it’s a stuffed dog that is made literally hair by hair to look like the star dog.”

Jones affectionately referred to the doll as “a huge teddy bear,” while Redmayne recalled the joys of training himself to act opposite an inanimate object: “I had to do quite a lot of drama school acting with the stunt dog pretending it was running in and out!”

The Aeronauts opens Dec. 6 in select theaters, followed by a Dec. 20 streaming premiere on Amazon Prime. Watch the film’s new trailer above.

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