This week, Manchester's film credentials are taking a starry turn.
As part of Manchester Science Festival, which starts this week, there’s a double bill of the classic 1979 film ‘Alien’, showing with its (kind of) prequel, ‘Prometheus’, both directed by Ridley Scott. But right now in Manchester, you might see the actor made famous by playing Ripley in the classic sci-fi franchise. Sigourney Weaver has been spotted in the streets of Didsbury and elsewhere in Manchester, alongside her fellow A-lister, Liam Neeson.
They’re here making ‘A Monster Calls’, a film about a young boy coping with the prospect of a terminally ill mother by befriending a tree monster. Weaver plays the boy’s grandmother. By the time the film comes out in 2016 it’ll be an unbelievable thirty-seven years since we first met Ellen Ripley, a character who has become one of the biggest screen icons of all-time. Weaver's latest film is being made by J.A. Boyona who scared us all witless with 'The Orphanage' a few years back.
Both Colin Firth and Jude Law are also currently filming on the streets of our fair city. They're making 'Genius' about the publisher Max Perkins, with the Northern Quarter standing in for parts of New York in the 1920s.
Of course it’s not the first time Manchester has featured as a location for major film productions. It has been New York's stunt double several times before. And it's not just on film. TV audiences are used to seeing Manchester on their screens and we'll be seeing a lot more of it soon. Anyone walking through the city-centre in the last few months has probably come across the crews making ‘Cucumber’, the new Russell T. Davies TV drama, which feels like it has been in the making since before time.
To celebrate our celluloid heritage, we've collected a list of twenty films and TV shows made in or about Manchester. Have a look and see if we've missed any of your favourites here.
ALIEN and Prometheus screen at MOSI on Fri 31 Oct at 7pm.