Churchill drama sees Capital star as war-torn London

Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson star in Churchill. Picture: Graeme Hunter Pictures
Brian Cox and Miranda Richardson star in Churchill. Picture: Graeme Hunter Pictures
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IT will feature Brian Cox in the title role and Miranda Richardson as his wife – but Edinburgh and East Lothian are the stars of the show.

Churchill – a new historical drama centred around prime minister Winston Churchill’s involvement in the infamous D-Day landings – will make its cinema bow next week.

It is the latest blockbuster to be shot in the city over the past year, following in the footsteps of Marvel’s Avengers sequel Infinity War and T2: Trainspotting.

Set in the 96 hours before the allied invasion of the beaches at Normandy in 1944, the film follows Britain’s most iconic prime minister as he “battles his political enemies and personal demons before taking the final decision to launch the allied forces attack on Nazi-occupied Europe”.

Edinburgh and East Lothian were used as substitutes for a war-torn London and Kent.

Among the locations featured, Calton Hill plays the backdrop for Churchill’s historic meeting with future US president General Dwight D Eisenhower, while the 17th-century Newhailes House in Musselburgh fills in as the prime minister’s family home in Chartwell.

Cramond foreshore, Rutland Square and Yellowcraig Beach in East Lothian also make appearances in the film.

Jenni Steele, film and cultural tourism manager at VisitScotland, said she was delighted to see the Capital featured on the big screen once again and hoped it would persuade more film fans to visit the city.

She said: “Edinburgh has featured in countless productions over the years and the Capital’s appearance in Churchill further reinforces its cinematic aesthetics as well as its versatility.

“With set-jetting an increasing popular activity among visitors, we hope that cinema goers and movie fans will be inspired to explore the locations they see on screen while also immersing themselves in Edinburgh’s unique culture.”

Councillor John McMillan, spokesman for economic development and tourism at East Lothian Council, said: “Seeing East Lothian on the big screen is not only tremendously exciting, it also has a positive economic impact for local businesses and showcases East Lothian to a worldwide audience.

“We look forward to welcoming more production companies to East Lothian, as well as visitors who want to see for themselves what the county has to offer.”

Churchill was one of 321 productions to be filmed in the Capital last year, generating £7.7 million for the economy, while the latest installment of the Avengers series was estimated to have boosted the capital by up to £10m.

It was the second time director Jonathan Teplitzky has shot in the region, filming The Railway Man on East Lothian’s coastline and Calton Hill. 
Rosie Ellison, film manager for Film Edinburgh, said: “There is a close relationship between Film Edinburgh, East Lothian Council and Edinburgh Council to help facilitate productions of every scale.

“We were all thrilled to welcome back Jonathan Teplitzky to the region for the filming of Churchill.

2”The film is a terrific showcase of the diversity in locations the region has to offer.”

newsen@edinburghnews.com