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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
Abigail Nicholson

City centre pub transformed and given new name for huge TV series

A city centre pub was transformed and given a new name as film crews were spotted setting up for a major production.

Film crews have been seen in parts of Liverpool and Wirral over the last few months as part of Paramount+'s brand new series Sexy Beast - a prequel to the 2000 gangster classic Sexy Beast. Cast and crew were spotted in Rumford Street in the city centre at the end of August, while Anfield was turned into Hackney for filming.

Now The Cross Keys on Earle Street has been transformed into "The Golden Eagle". Crews have been paining the pub for the last week ready for filming between Tuesday, November 8 and Wednesday 9.

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A letter sent to residents and businesses in the area said: "All our filming is exterior and will mainly be based up and down Earle Street and the Prussia Street/Earle Street junction. To facilitate our filming, we will be looking to park our technical vehicles in the bays on Bixteth Street, Earle Street and Edmund Street.

"We have applied to Liverpool City Council for permission to perform intermittent traffic stops at the Edmund Street/Earle Street and Bixteth Street/St. Paul's Square junction during our shoot.

"We will also have two cherry pickers with lights attached parked on Prussia Street and Edmund Street, for when we are shooting during the evening hours. We will have blackout material available should the light disturb you."

On Tuesday, August 30, crews took to Water Street on Liverpool's iconic waterfront, where the road was taken back in time. A number of old cars and a red London bus, with the destination reading Covent Garden, were seen being filmed.

The Cross Keys pub now transformed into The Golden Eagle for filming. Photo by Colin Lane (Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

During earlier filming, Anfield's Jumbo Cafe became "Copper Grill", while Bingley Road's street sign was changed to Strawberry Lane, with "E1" and "London Borough of Hackney" written on it.

The show will tell the story of the characters of the original film, which starred Ben Kingsley, Ian McShane, Amanda Redman and Ray Winstone, and how they found themselves central to London's criminal underbelly. The show is one of many new original series to come to Paramount+, which has already released video game adaptation Halo and The Offer, which tells the story of the filming of The Godfather.

Sexy Beast will be released on new streaming service Paramount+ in 2023. However, a prequel to Sexy Beast, has been long mooted.

It was scrapped by US cable channel Paramount Network in 2020, but has been picked up as one of six new originals to premiere on Paramount+ - the fledgling streaming service from the giant film studio. The show will hit screens in 2023, with a new cast stepping into the shoes of the iconic British actors in the film.

Sexy Beast earned Ben Kingsley an Oscar nomination for his role as the terrifying Don Logan who threatens the peaceful existence of Gary 'Gal' Dove, played by Ray Winston. Gal has retired to Spain with his wife DeeDee (Amanda Redman) after a life of crime in London but Don tries to recruit him for one last job in London - planned by Ian McShane's Teddy Bass.

The Cross Keys pub now transformed into The Golden Eagle for filming. Photo by Colin Lane (Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

The prequel series is set in 1990s London, as Dove, Logan and Bass rise up through the criminal ranks. James McArdle will star as Dove, while Emun Elliott will play Don Logan.

Sarah Greene will play DeeDee and Stephen Moyer will step into Ian McShane's shoes as Teddy Bass.

According to entertainment news outlet Variety : "The show follows Gal and Don as best friends and small-time thieves living the good life in ‘90s East London. The series will explore Gal and Don’s complicated relationship as Gal finds himself descending into the seductive madness of the London criminal world during the vibrant and volatile 1990s, while falling in love with DeeDee."

Michael Caleo, who worked on The Sopranos, has written the series. He will also act as showrunner and executive producer.

Regarding the show, he said: “I feel so fortunate to be able to explore these beautifully crafted characters a decade before we met them in the original story. This series has been a great passion of mine for many years and I cannot wait to see it come to life with this amazing cast.”

Daniel O'Hara will also executively produce and will direct multiple episodes. O'Hara has previously worked on Doctor Who and Netflix series Stay Close and The Stranger.

The writers of the original film - David Scinto and Louis Mellis - will also work as executive producers on the series.


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