Watch the trailer for Eddie Redmayne’s new true trans story

‘The Danish Girl’ follows the life of transgender artist Lili Elbe, who in 1930 became one of the first people in the world to undergo sex reassignment surgery

Despite criticism from the trans community – some of whom believe that a trans actor should have been awarded the role – Eddie Redmayne’s new film The Danish Girl receives a UK release on January 1 2016. The film is based on a true story and Redmayne takes the role of Danish artist Lili Elbe, who underwent reassignment surgery in 1930, one of the first people in the world to do so. Elbe was married to the Copenhagen illustrator Gerda Wegener, who is played by Alicia Vikander.

The film’s casting directors courted controversy when the film was announced, attracting criticism from those who believe a trans person should have taken Redmayne’s place. Speaking to Screen Daily, director Tom Hooper explained his decision to have Redmayne take the lead.

"I was a great believer in him as an actor," said Hooper. "I think also there’s a certain gender fluidity that I sensed in him, that I found intriguing and it led me to think he might be a really interesting person to cast in this role. I felt that there was something in him that was drawn to the feminine. That was something that I felt he might be interested to explore further.” The team also explained that the possibility of casting a trans actor was discussed, but the right person didn’t come up.

Today, the first trailer came out. See what you think above.