Film and TV star James McArdle has been spotted filming in Liverpool City Centre for a major Paramount+ show.
Film crews have been seen in Liverpool over the last few months as part of Paramount+'s brand new series Sexy Beast - a prequel to the 2000 gangster classic Sexy Beast. As crews descended on The Cross Keys on Earle Street on Tuesday evening (November 8) film star James McArdle was spotted in action for his role as Gal Dove.
The Scottish actor has a huge filmography including roles in Star Wars, Mare of Easttown and Mary Queen of Scots. The area where James was filming, The Cross Keys, was transformed into "The Golden Eagle" for the production 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.
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. 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.
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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