Filming of THE DUKE started this week across different locations in Bradford. THE DUKE stars Academy AwardTM winners Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Helen Mirren (The Queen) and featuring Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) and Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game).
THE DUKE, based on a remarkable true story of one man’s attempt to make a better world, is directedby BAFTA award winner Roger Michell (My Cousin Rachel, Notting Hill). The film is based on a script written by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Clive Coleman and is produced by Nicky Bentham (Moon) of Neon Films.
In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of
Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft
in the Gallery’s history. Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly – he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television.
What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story
emerge – Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man,
determined to change the world and save his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to
achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale.
David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film, said: “It was a real pleasure to host the first scenes of this film in Bradford.
“In addition to the excitement of having such great talent in the city there is also the economic impact in terms of hotel stays for crew and local spend at cafes etc.
“We have also managed to get some great opportunities for students from the University of Bradford and Bradford College to support the production.”
Dame Helen Mirren also took the change to capture a photo of Bradford, saying ‘the one and only Bradford with its own magic’
Michell reunites with his creative team from My Cousin Rachel: Director of Photography Mike Eley, Costume Designer Dinah Collin and Editor Kristina Hetherington. Make Up and Hair Designer is Karen Hartley Thomas (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Production Designer is Kristian Milsted (Killing Eve).
THE DUKE is a Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films Production. Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media and Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire.
Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland and will handle sales for the rest of the world.