Daniel Radcliffe will play civil engineer Washington Roebling, who was instrumental in building the Brooklyn Bridge, in his next film role.
The new movie, Brooklyn Bridge, will be directed by Douglas McGrath, best known for the Jane Austen adaptation, Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow.
The Brooklyn Bridge took 14 years to build, at a cost of $15 million and 20 lives.
Washington Roebling himself endured decompression sickness after supervising construction of the structure’s underwater supports.
Although the bridge, with its gleaming steel cables, is now considered a jewel of the New York skyline, it was much derided during the building phase.
The Brooklyn Bridge was twice as long as the Menai Suspension Bridge between Anglesey and mainland Wales, which was then the world’s largest suspension bridge. Many skeptics believed the structure would simply collapse into the East River and float away.
Washington Roebling’s father had designed the bridge’s two enormous towers and was placed in charge of construction, but he injured his foot in a freak accident while surveying the site, contracting tetanus and later dying of lockjaw.
He took over and watched as the project spiraled to almost twice its original budget.
Despite his travails, the bridge was hailed as a “marvel of science” when it eventually opened in 1883.
A key player in Douglas McGrath’s script is Washington Roebling’s wife Emily, who supported him during his darkest hours.
Filming is due to begin in August, with the rest of the cast yet to be announced.