A TOP international movie featuring a Bollywood superstar with a Hollywood heart-throb at her side and an internationally acclaimed film director in tow, is expected to keep the residents of Heath and Reach up for three nights this week when they arrive in the village to shoot action scenes for the $27m time-travel blockbuster.
Oscar-nominated director Roland Joffé is hoping for a big movie comeback with his Anglo-Indian historical action-romance Singularity.
The film, which stars Bipasha Basu, in her first English language film, and Josh Hartnett (Sin City, Black Hawk Down and Lucky Number Slevin) has been shooting in India and Australia but the movie-makers needed somewhere closer to home to film some action scenes.
Rather than have the expense of returning to India the cast and crew are moving in to our own film-favourite location, Bryants Lane Quarry in Heath and Reach and will be shooting for three nights from today (Tuesday).
The latest starry visitors to the quarry are bringing with them an added bonus - a cash donation for the village’s playground facility fund as a thank you to the community for their support.
Loction manager Charlie Somers said: “The scene is of a battle that takes place in India in 1750, the majority of which has already been filmed in India.
“However, we need to film a number of close-ups to cut into the existing footage. Part of the scenes will be filmed during the day, but most take place at night and our working hours will be 4.30pm to 4.40am each day/ night. We will be utilizing blank firing muskets and air mortars during the filming, which we are hoping to achieve without creating excessive noise.
“The scale of the filming is relatively small but we are mindful that the area around the quarry is very residential and are keen to minimize any disturbance.”
Previously known as The Invaders, the epic drama is named after a principle of quantum physics. The film has been in works since the late 1990s and was due originally to feature Hollywood actor Brendan Fraser and Bollywood actors Aishwarya Rai-Bachchan and Vivek Oberoi.
Since his initial acclaim with The Killing fields and The Mission, Joffé’s film career has been less successful. In 1993, he produced and partially directed a big budget adaptation of the video game Super Mario Bros. The film struggled to make back its budget. His 1995 adaptation of The Scarlet Letter was a critical and financial disaster, and his 2007 horror film Captivity drew controversy with its advertising billboards, perceived as exploitative and misogynistic.
He received Razzie Nominations for Worst Director for The Scarlet Letter and Captivity.
Singularity casts Bipasha as Tulaja, a Marathi warrior princess in pre-Independence India, and narrates her love story with a British officer of the era.
Hartnett plays a marine biologist who is in a coma after an accident. His dreams take him back to 1778 where he is in his previous incarnation as a British army officer in colonial India. Joffé wrote the script with Ajey Jhankar.