Monday, 3 April 2006
Sunny Redcar to become Dunkirk in big screen blockbuster
REDCAR and Cleveland Council is delighted with the progress of talks to turn Redcar seafront into Dunkirk 1940 for a multi-million pound blockbuster this summer.
The film's director, Joe Wright, who directed the Oscar-nominated Pride and Prejudice, has made his own trip to the town, which could be home to the 'film village' for several weeks in preparation for filming to start.
Now the production company, Working Title Films, is to draw up its detailed proposals, which would involve the closure of the Esplanade from the Regent Cinema to the boating lake and the creation of a wartime scene.
The film is titled Atonement, based on the novel by Ian McEwan. It will star Keira Knightley, with an as yet undisclosed male lead starring alongside her in a story billed as a mix of love, war and emotional truth.
Northern Film and Media, the regional screen agency created to develop the media sector in the North East, co-ordinated the talks.
NFM's Location Service Manager Gayle Mason said: "Securing this type of project takes a lot of negotiation and the talks so far have been very positive.
"There is still a lot to do to ensure that the experience of hosting filming activity in Redcar is as positive as possible for everyone involved, including local people.
"The fantastic work people have done to date will go a long way to ensuring this happens, everybody involved is so keen, so willing to help.
"Productions like this one can have a massive impact on the region in terms of economic benefit, tourism and work for local people and companies."
The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick said: "The Council is delighted to be able to assist in this major film project, which will bring business and tourism into the Borough."
The public's main excitement is being generated by the thought of being involved - with the prospect of 1,000 extras needed for the film. But no firm details have yet been finalised.