Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is seen trundling down Dover seafront in a buggy as he films a big-budget Sex Pistols drama.
The 64-year-old movie guru is adding Pistol – a mini-series about the life and career of guitarist Steve Jones – to an impressive CV that includes Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire.
The series is based on his 2018 memoir Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol, and will consist of six episodes.
Pictures from Dover seafront yesterday showed coned-off streets around Marine Parade as the all-star cast moved in to the seaside town, while work is underway in Deal to create a set at King Street.
KentOnline’s Sam Lennon said yesterday: “Cars that they’ve brought in would have existed in the 70s.
“So far I’ve seen a green Hillman Avenger, a brown Volvo and a Vauxhall Viva.”
Meanwhile in Deal, a carpenter was busy at work outside the former Royal Snooker Club in King Street.
He was creating objects with wood that can be dressed up to cover anything that’s too modern for the 1970s-feel set.
Marshals were keeping watch over the building, which was also a former arcade, now earmarked for demolition and housing.
Filming will begin there tomorrow when there will be a road closure that night.
Shops in King Street are to have work done to their signage to make them fit in with the period.
Steve Lavery of Mr Dapper Master Barbers opted for a retro theme when he moved to the town centre space from his Just Gents site in Mill Hill. That theme fits in well with what producers need and they may be filming from his salon.
He said: “On my shop I think it’s the artwork facing the Royal either side of my large window that they will be using, and they will be putting some 70s style signage above the window.
The artwork was created by his wife Amanda whose work has amassed a following in lockdown.
Mr Lavery added: “They’re also decorating the outside ATM, making it look like brick on my shop.
“The desk in Mr Dapper also uses to belong to Vivienne Westwood (punk era fashion designer) as her art desk.”
But as filming moves on, lead singer John Lydon – Johnny Rotten – is threatening to legal action against the show.
In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, the 65-year-old punk icon claimed the production was being done without his consultation.
Boyle will be joined by a stellar cast including Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, who will play punk icon Jordan (aka Pamela Rooke), and Babyteeth‘s Toby Wallace as Jones.
Thomas Brodie-Sangster, of Game of Thrones, Love Actually and The Maze Runner fame, has also recently joined the cast.
Anson Boon is Johnny Rotten, Louis Partridge is Sid Vicious and newcomer Jacob Slater is drummer Paul Cook.
After the scenes are shot in Dover crews will be coming to both Deal and Folkestone.
Producers have approached Graham Stiles of the King’s Head in Deal, with a view to setting up a crew base at Channel View Bed & Breakfast which he owns.
The outdoor terrace, known as The Square, has also been booked and will be taped off while actors are filmed.
Mr Stiles said: “It’s going to be great for the area. The crew will be staying at the B&B and this area [the Square] will be closed off while they film.”
Businesses in King Street have also been approached, including Mr Dapper Master Barbers and the Royal Leisure Centre.
Shortly after visiting Deal, filming will move to The Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone.
The hotel will host an interior scene in which the protagonists perform to a restaurant and the windows will be blacked out to help provide a night-time setting.
Crowds in Dover
In an announcement with FX, which commissioned the series, Boyle described the Pistols’ breakthrough as “the moment that British society and culture changed forever.”
The director and executive producer added: “Imagine breaking into the world of The Crown and Downton Abbey with your mates and screaming your songs and your fury at all they represent…This is the moment that British society and culture changed forever.
“It is the detonation point for British street culture… where ordinary young people had the stage and vented their fury and their fashion… and everyone had to watch and listen…and everyone feared them or followed them. The Sex Pistols.”
Pistol, which has been created for TV by Craig Pearce (The Great Gatsby) and written by Pearce and Frank Cottrell-Boyce (24 Hour Party People), is reported to have begun filming on March 7 and is due to appear on streaming service Hulu in 2022.
Read more: All the latest news from Dover