A new Netflix film called “Joy,” will immortalise the journey surrounding the first-ever IVF baby ‘Louise Joy Brown’.
It has a famous cast including Thomasin McKenzie, James Norton, and Bill Nighy, and follows the story of inspiring scientists Jean Purdy, Robert Edwards, and Patrick Steptoe.
This remarkable birth followed a procedure pioneered in Britain, and has been lauded among “the most remarkable medical breakthroughs of the 20th Century”.
A Story of Courage and Revolution in Reproductive Medicine
Between the years 1968 to 1978, scientists battled medical and religious opposition to achieve the groundbreaking birth of Louise Joy Brown,.
“Joy” takes audiences on a poignant journey, highlighting the remarkable life story of Jean Purdy, an innovative nurse who stood alongside visionary scientist Robert Edwards and groundbreaking surgeon Patrick Steptoe. Their unwavering dedication eventually led to the birth of Louise Joy Brown, marking a revolutionary breakthrough in reproductive medicine.
The film pays tribute to the incredible influence of these dedicated individuals, showcasing the power they held in shaping history itself.
Edwards was awarded a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 2010. Steptoe and Purdy weren’t awarded as by 2010 both were deceased and the Nobel prize sadly isn’t awarded posthumously.
The Ongoing Impact and Hope for Millions
Nearly fifty years later, the courage and perseverance displayed by Purdy, Edwards, and Steptoe continue to provide hope for millions of couples struggling to conceive.
IVF, developed by these trailblazers, has become a lifeline for individuals facing fertility challenges. According to the International Committee for Monitoring Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ICMART), over 8 million IVF babies have been born worldwide since the first IVF baby was born in 1978. This number is constantly growing, as more and more couples seek IVF treatment to help them conceive.
By sharing Louise’s incredible story, the film sheds light on the transformative potential of IVF and the resilience of those who paved the way for its success.
Behind the Scenes and Film Production
“Joy” is produced by Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey of the UK’s Wildgaze, with executive producer Cameron McCracken for Pathe. The film is directed by Ben Taylor, known for his work on “Sex Education,” and written by talented duo Jack Thorne and Rachel Mason.
Thorne, drawing from personal experience, brings a heartfelt touch to the script, as he and his wife Rachel Mason shared their own struggle with IVF, undergoing seven rounds before the birth of their son, Elliott. This personal connection to IVF has helped add a sincere understanding of the emotions involved in the process.
The Journey of Louise Brown
Louise Brown’s story gained international attention when it was revealed that her mother, Lesley Brown, faced fertility challenges due to blocked Fallopian tubes.
After nine years of trying to conceive naturally, Lesley and her husband John turned to IVF. The details involved in the process are incredibly complicated compared to the process which doctors use today.
Use of a football sized jar
Louise’s development took place in a football-sized jar within an incubator chamber, closely monitored at 37 degrees. Out of 457 attempts, only 167 resulted in fertilization, and from 12 successfully implanted embryos, Louise was the sole live birth.
With its powerful narrative and talented team, “Joy” is set to leave a lasting impact, reminding us of the tremendous breakthroughs achieved by this innovative British team of scientists.
Netflix hasn’t announced the official release date for Joy, but considering the production schedule, the movie releasing in the second half of 2024 would make most sense.