Hollywood stars in Lyme Regis for new movie

PUBLISHED: 12:02 07 March 2019 | UPDATED: 09:26 11 March 2019

Set makers have been busy creating new walls at Cobb Gate in Lyme Regis  for the film. Pictures Chris Carson

Set makers have been busy creating new walls at Cobb Gate in Lyme Regis for the film. Pictures Chris Carson

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Filming set to begin on Mary Anning blockbuster - Ammonite.

Set makers have been busy creating new walls at Cobb Gate in Lyme Regis  for the film. Pictures Chris CarsonSet makers have been busy creating new walls at Cobb Gate in Lyme Regis for the film. Pictures Chris Carson

Filming of a major new motion picture starring Hollywood actresses Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan is about to start in Lyme Regis.

The movie called Ammonite focuses on the life of the town’s famous fossil hunter Mary Anning and, reportedly, follows a fictitious relationship between her and another woman.

A picture of Mary Anning on one of her fossil hunting trips at Lyme Regis. Picture SuppliedA picture of Mary Anning on one of her fossil hunting trips at Lyme Regis. Picture Supplied

Lyme Regis Town Council has given permission for producers to film on its land at various locations across the town, including land below Bell Cliff and on Monmouth Beach. Filming will also take place at the harbour and The Cobb.

Set makers were busy transforming the area round the bottom of Broad Street this week – putting up false walls.

Kate Winslet. Picture: Somewhere in Toronto - FlickrKate Winslet. Picture: Somewhere in Toronto - Flickr

Cllr Jeff Scowen, a member of the tourism committee, said: “This is fantastic for Lyme. It will boost the economy and do what Broadchurch did for West Bay. I can’t see any negativity.

“It’s really exciting and phenomenally good for Lyme - every town wants a film made about it. It will put Lyme on the map.”

Ammonite will be filmed over eight days in March. It is anticipated for the crew to work between 7am and 9pm on weekdays only.

During that time, producers want to close a section of the pavement from the Seasalt shop down to the steps leading to Cobb Gate car park to pedestrians.

They have submitted requests to Dorset County Council to use the highways, to possibly remove three street lamps, to book the four parking spaces below Seasalt and to operate a stop/go traffic management system.

The film crew are building a two-storey fake Georgian house front outside the Seasalt shop and installing a fake stone wall in front of the bus shelter above Cobb Gate car park.

Ammonite has been developed by See-Saw Films, the British Film Institute and BBC Films and will be written and directed by Francis Lee. Lee is best known for his 2017 film, God’s Own Country, a story about the gay relationship between a Yorkshire farmer and a migrant worker from Romania.

Lyme last hit the big screen in an adaptation of John Fowles’ The French Lieutenant’s Woman, released in 1981.

The blockbuster – starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons – was adapted by Harold Pinter and later nominated for five Academy Awards.

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