Thursday 21 March 2019

Wexford doubles as Cornwall for the filming of new movie

'Four Kids and It’, based on the Jacqueline Wilson book, will star Michael Caine and Russell Brand
'Four Kids and It’, based on the Jacqueline Wilson book, will star Michael Caine and Russell Brand
'Four Kids and It’, based on the Jacqueline Wilson book, will star Michael Caine and Russell Brand

Maria Pepper

The Wexford coastline has been chosen as the setting for a new family adventure film starring double Oscar winner Michael Caine and comedian Russell Brand, based on a bestselling novel by Jacqueline Wilson which was inspired by E Nesbit's 1902 classic Five Children and It.

Four Kids and It is a re-imagining of Nesbit's work and follows a group of children on a beach holiday who meet a magical creature with the power to grant wishes. The foursome have to use their wits to fight off an evil villian who is intent on stealing It for himself.

Wexford will double as Cornwall for the filming which is due to take place soon along the coastline and in local villages.

The Mission Impossible actress Paula Patton and Matthew Goode who played Lady Mary's racing driver husband in Downton Abbey, will also star in the film which is directed by Andy de Emmony with a screenplay by Simon Lewis while the singer and former X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole has a cameo role which was filmed in Dublin last week.

Producer Anne Brogan said the east coast of Ireland was chosen because of its similarity to the west coast of England. The exact location has not been revealed to avoid an influx of visitors to the set.

'The film is set in Cornwall. We wanted a seaside location to add visual value. We are using the Wexford coastline for Cornwall. It is very similar', she said. 'It is mainly various beaches and villages along the Wexford coastline which is very wild and beautiful'.

BAFTA-nominated Brand who appeared in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Despicable Me is the oddball villain of the story while Sir Michael Caine OBE, ranked the 15th highest grossing actor of all time, will voice the creature.

Principal photography began on July 16 under the direction of De Emmony who directed Father Ted with the first scenes taking place in Dublin.

Brogan, who is producing the movie with Julie Baines, said they chose Ireland because the film-makers had worked here before.

'Julie had worked with Paul Donovan of Deadpan Pictures and Andy had shot Moonfleet along the Wexford coastline, so both of them knew we would get an excellent crew and wonderful look to the film by filming in Ireland', she said.

Several young Irish actors will feature in the film, playing some of the Edwardian children that the main characters meet when they go back in time and the surfer boys that they meet on the beach.

Four Kids and It begins with the children's horrified reaction when they learn that their beach holiday has turned into a bonding trip with their potential future step siblings.

The trip is engineered by the parents of the children, a new couple - workaholic mum, Alice, played by Patton, and the endearingly gauche David, played by Goode.

During an argument, the children stumble across the Psammead, a magical, sandy, grumpy creature called It who can grant them one wish a day - although the wish is cancelled as soon as the sun sets.

The children must learn to work together and choose their wishes wisely after the villain makes it his mission to steal the Psammead for himself.

The creature is being designed by Brian Froud, who worked on Jim Henson's Labyrinth, and his wife, Wendy Froud, the creator of Star Wars' Yoda and is being built by creative effects company MILK which was behind the Oscar winning visual effects in Ex Machina.

The children are played by Ashley Aufderheide (Infinitely Polar Bear, Going in Style),Teddy Malleson-Allen (Swallows and Amazons and BBC's Cider with Rosie), Billy Jenkins of Netflix's The Crown) and Ellie-Mae Siame.

'From the moment we first read Jacqueline Wilson's novel, a magical story combining a comic truthfulness about contemporary family life with the timeless wish fulfilment of E Nesbit's classic tale, we knew it was a compelling mix for audiences both young and old,' Baines and Brogan said.

"We are thrilled to have a stellar cast bringing this treasured story to life.

Wilson's Four Children and It was published in 2012 as part of the Puffins Classics 30-year celebration. Her books have sold more than 40 million copies.

Wexford People

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