New War of the Worlds adaptation filming in Bristol

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Tue 12th Mar 2019

Industry News

Urban Myth Films’ epic new reimagining of War of the Worlds is the latest major TV series to begin filming in Bristol. The sci-fi tale, based on the timeless story by H.G. Wells, began the Bristol leg of its UK shoot this week and will use the city’s locations for three weeks, assisted by Bristol Film Office.

Set in present day Europe, War of the Worlds is written and created by the BAFTA award winner Howard Overman (Misfits, Crazyhead, Merlin). The 8 x 60 series, which is filming in the UK and France, is produced by Urban Myth Films and is a Création Originale for Canal+ and Fox Network Group. It is being distributed by Studio Canal and AGC..

Golden Globe winning and EMMY & Tony award nominated actor Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary, In Treatment) leads the international ensemble cast, which also includes Elizabeth McGovern (The Wife; Downton Abbey), Léa Drucker (Jusqu’à la garde; Le Bureau des légendes), Natasha Little (Press; Silent Witness), Daisy Edgar Jones (Cold Feet; Silent Witness), Stéphane Caillard (Genius, Marseille), Adel Bencherif (The Prophet) and Guillaume Gouix (The Returned).

Natalie Moore of Bristol Film Office says: “It’s been an exceptionally strong start to 2019 for filming in Bristol. War of the Worlds is the third major title to begin filming in the city this year, after The Trial of Christine Keeler for BBC and Sanditon for ITV. We supported Urban Myth Films with Bristol locations in 2016 for the making of Crazyhead which was based at The Bottle Yard, so it’s fantastic to welcome them back for this major international co-production, which will see Bristol become the backdrop for some exciting large-scale stunt scenes.”

War of the Worlds is executive produced by Howard Overman, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps for Urban Myth Films. Director Gilles Coulier (De Dag, Cargo, The Natives) will direct the first four episodes and Richard Clark (Innocent; Versailles) will direct episodes five to eight. The creative team is rounded out by Director of Photography David Williamson (De Dag, Cargo, Flemish Heaven), Production Designer Richard Bullock (Les Misérables, Peaky Blinders), Costume Designer Jo Slater (Wanderlust, I, Daniel Blake), and Hair & Makeup Designer Melanie Lenihan (Butterfly, Peaky Blinders, Marcella).

In War of the Worlds, when astronomers detect a transmission from another galaxy, it is definitive proof of intelligent extra-terrestrial life. The world’s population waits for further contact with baited breath. They do not have to wait long. Within days, mankind is all but wiped out; just pockets of humanity are left in an eerily deserted world.

As alien ships appear in the sky, the survivors ask a burning question – who are these attackers and why are they hell-bent on our destruction? Emotional, cinematic and rooted in character, it is a unique marriage of human drama and the best science fiction. This is a story of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances - but they are more than just victims in a brutal war. For, as we will come to realize, the aliens’ savage attack on earth is not arbitrary: its seeds are being sown before our very eyes…

War of the Worlds is set to debut later this year, broadcasting on CANAL+ in France and on FOX across Europe & Africa.

Other high-end TV dramas that have begun filming in Bristol this year include The Trial of Christine Keeler (BBC One) and Sanditon (ITV), both based at The Bottle Yard Studios and using city locations with support from Bristol Film Office. In Children’s and Light entertainment genres, The Crystal Maze (Channel 4), Tipping Point (ITV) and Andy’s Safari Adventures (CBeebies) have all begun filming new episodes at The Bottle Yard Studios this month.

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