Brighton set to Rock again

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An £8 million remake of the murder thriller that made Richard Attenborough a star is set to be filmed in Brighton.

A new version of Brighton Rock will see the action moved forward in time to the Mods and Rockers era of 1964.

Filming is expected to begin in September with two up-and-coming stars, Sam Riley and Carey Mulligan, taking the lead roles of Pinkie Brown, the thug who was originally played by Lord Attenborough, and Rose, the waitress he married to prevent her telling the police he was involved in a murder.

Riley is most well-known for his portrayal of Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in the film Control last year while Mulligan, who has appeared in Pride and Prejudice, has also just finished filming with Keira Knightly in Never Let Me Go and took the lead in An Education, which is due out this autumn.

The picture, which was unveiled during the Cannes film festival, is being backed by BBC Films and Optimum Films, a production company which controls the rights to the first Brighton Rock film in 1947.

Rowan Joffe has adapted Graham Green's 1938 novel and will direct the film. He said that a modern audience would not want to sit through a new film that was set in the 1940s.

He said: “The censorship at the time the first film was made meant the film-makers were not able to explore the violence in the book and we need to get away from that era to fully explore the truth of the story.”

Jamie Laurenson, an executive producer for BBC Films, said: "We are thrilled to be making Rowan Joffe's first feature with such a great producing and distributing team.

“He has a compelling vision for a re-telling of Graeme Greene's classic book. The two stars, two of britain's best young acting talents, make a magnetic central pairing."

Brighton and Hove City Council’s cabinet member for tourism, David Smith, said: “Brighton and Hove has a longstanding connection with film productions, from Oh What A Lovely War, directed of course by Richard Attenborough, through to Quadrophenia.

“We could benefit from the rise of so-called ‘set jetting’ - the term for visitors travelling to film locations. It’s big business in tourism terms so could benefit the local economy.

"Brighton today is very different to the dark and dingy place Greene wrote about or the rockers visited.

"But if this part of our history helps spark extra interest in the city today, that would be a good thing for tourism and for jobs. Crime thrillers on film and television have never done any harm to places like New York, so it could be good for us."

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