Excitement as a major film production to be filmed in historic Lyme Regis
HOLLYWOOD returns to Dorset as preparations are underway to film another blockbuster in the county.
It would be the next Warner Bros and Roald Dahl Story Co film, “Wonka,” which will be filmed at Lyme Regis next month.
Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet has been chosen to play the main character, Willy Wonka.
The film is an all-new adaptation based on the characters created by children’s author Roald Dahl for the beloved novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The prequel, which will be directed by Paul King, will focus on a young Willy Wonka and his adventures before he opens his famous chocolate factory.
While the plot details are currently as mysterious as the Chocolate Factory, it is believed that the scenes to be shot at Lyme will include a scene of snow on the Cobb with a steam dinghy.
The historic Lydia Eda, a restored floating museum based in Great Yarmouth, will be used for the scenes showing an ocean liner carrying a young Willy Wonka to England.
The ship is currently in West Bay and is expected to head to Lyme this week. Filming will take place over two days in mid-October.
Wonka will be the third major film to be shot at Lyme Regis in the past three years.
The town and beaches served as the backdrop for famed local fossil hunter Mary Anning, played by Oscar-winning Kate Winslet for the 2019 film Ammonite.
In June of this year, Dakota Johnson shot several scenes for a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, a film that takes place primarily in the historic seaside town.
Along with many other productions, Lyme was the setting for the 1981 Oscar nominated film The French Lieutenant’s Wife starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons.
“All filming is good for the area and the city” – Excitement as film crews coming to Lyme Regis
City Mayor Brian Larcombe welcomed film crews back to Lyme after the station “had a great summer” due to “high numbers” of tourists and day trippers.
He said: “This film is yet another in a long line of films that promote the city and give it publicity, so we don’t need to advertise anymore.
“Lyme is well known throughout the UK as well as parts of Dorset.”
Harbor master James Radcliffe was delighted to hear that another major production was about to shoot in the area.
Mr Radcliffe, who helped TV crews in West Bay on ITV’s Broadchurch shoot, said: “Any shoot is good for the region and the city.
“West Bay definitely benefited from the Broadchurch shoot.
“It’s good for the city, it will attract visitors and it can only be good for the neighborhood.
The Council wishes to encourage more high-end productions in the region
Dorset Council has already hosted film crews in the county and believes major films could spark a tourism boom in some areas.
A spokesperson for the Dorset Council said: “The Dorset Council is keen to support the creative industries and welcomes requests from production companies to film in the region.
“In recent years, for example, our port offices and parking crews have contributed to the making of major Hollywood films such as Dunkirk and Ammonite in Weymouth and Lyme Regis, and premium TV series such as Broadchurch in West Bay.
“We are doing this because we recognize the huge benefits these large-scale projects can bring to Dorset, in terms of helping boost tourism and generating income for the local population and even for the council.
“While these production opportunities can be lucrative, they tend to be scarce. We get many more applications from smaller production companies with limited budgets and our current policy is not to charge teams that produce documentaries or educational material.
“We want to encourage more high-end productions in the region, but there have been recent challenges that the creative industries and consulting have had to overcome, including Covid-19.
“As we begin to recover from the effects of the pandemic, we are looking at how we can better promote the assets we have and make Dorset the best location for filming. ”