Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and Glenn Close are among the celebrity cast filming a new sci-fi thriller in Hanley this week. This is the first time a major film has been shot in Hanley and sections of the former bus station, two car parks and the old East West Precinct are being closed to the public. Based on M. R. Careys bestselling novel “She Who Brings Gifts” is a sci-fi thriller set in a dystopian future where infected humans, named “hungries,” seek to eat or infect the few remaining healthy people. The post-apocalyptic thriller is due for international release in 2016. Areas of Dudley, Birmingham and other parts of the West Midlands have also been used for filming with local people being hired as extras suggesting a real unity between the stars and the locals, in addition to the fact that Paddy Considine himself is local having been born in Winshill, near Burton upon Trent. Two of our staff members plus our photographer have applied to be extras showing that this is an event that has really grabbed the areas attention.
We can hope that Hanley’s unique mixture of picturesque hilly landscapes and urban sprawl spattered with a plethora of pot banks could put Stoke-on-Trent on the cinematic map as a fantastic, untapped location for a range of potential films. When the Birmingham Mail asked producer Camille Gatin about filming in the Midlands she told them that “There were really great locations that fitted this particular storyline. We knew that we could have a central base and within a 40 minute or an hour’s drive of that base we would be able to find all the locations.”
Now that the pottery industry is no longer booming could film making become Stokes new industry with red carpet premiers at the local VUE becoming a regular event? We can only hope.