Is Ewan McGregor heading to Norwich for latest film?

It has been one of the city's most recognisable buildings for more than 900 years and now Norwich Cathedral is set to feature in a Hollywood blockbuster.

A film crew has descended on the city landmark to film parts of Jack the Giant Killer, starring famous names such as Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and Nicholas Hoult.

The feature film, directed by the X Men's Bryan Singer, is based on a modern day fairytale in which the long-standing peace between men and giants is threatened, as a young farmer leads an expedition into the giants' kingdom in hopes of rescuing a kidnapped princess

Today, activity could be spotted around the grounds with signs marked JTGK LOC, thought to indicate the film location, pointing towards the cathedral, people setting up lighting and security guards on site.

The west door of the cathedral is closed to members of the public 'for filming' and there is a sign saying the cathedral will be closed from Monday to Friday next week and May 23 and 24. The film is due to be released in 2012.


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It has not been confirmed which members of the cast will be in Norwich.

Moira Houlihan, the unit publicist for the film, being made by Red Lion Films, said they were drawn to Norwich's cathedral because of its beauty.

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'It's a great cathedral and is so beautiful inside,' she said.

As well as Norwich, scenes of Jack the Giant Killer are also being shot at Hampton Court Palace and Bourne Woods in Surrey.

It is not the first time Norwich has graced the silver screen. In 2006, the city's historic Elm Hill was transformed into a fantastical village when it was used as a location for box office hit Stardust, starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer.

The same cobbled street, together with the cathedral and The Close, played host to another film crew less than a year later for My Talks with Dean Spanley, starring veteran actor Peter O'Toole and Hollywood hotshot Sam Neill.

Mel Cook, from VisitNorwich, said: 'It's very exciting to hear that our beautiful city is to be used yet again as a backdrop for a major Hollywood film.

'With all the wonderfully preserved medieval buildings Norwich boasts, it is not surprising that the city is used so frequently for this purpose.

'Not only does filming on such a grand scale, using A list actors, create a buzz and flurry of interest in Norwich, it also creates a story for years to come.'

Sophie Harrison, from Norwich Heritage Economic and Regeneration Trust (HEART), said: 'Part of the Norwich 12 collection of the city's iconic heritage buildings, the cathedral prides itself on being more than just a place of worship so it's fitting that the building is being used in this non-traditional way.

'By allowing the cathedral to be used for something other than its original purpose, the building becomes more accessible and therefore hopefully can be appreciated by a greater number of people.'

The east end of the cathedral will be open as normal on filming days.

Are you about to star in a movie filmed in the region? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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