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Filming underway for "Five Children and It"

Shooting begins in Kirk Michael, England

Courtesy of Isle of Man
July 3, 2003

Filming started on Monday for "Five Children and It", the 20 million dollar movie starring Kenneth Branagh and Eddie Izzard.

Lisa Henson is producing "Five Children and It". Henson's John Stephenson will direct.

Adapted from Edith Nesbit's classic children's novel, the schedule kicked off at Castletown railway station but the majority of the three and a half week shoot will take place in the Kirk Michael area, in particular Glen Wyllin beach.

The story follows the adventures of five siblings who are sent to stay with their uncle, played by Harry Potter star Branagh, in a strange house by the sea.

While out exploring, they dig up an ill-tempered 8,000-year-old Psammead, or sand fairy, who grants them one wish a day. But what starts out as great fun soon turns into trouble for the youngsters.

The film will blend live action with animatronics and CGI special effects.

The Psammead is being brought to life by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, the creator of the Muppet Show, with Izzard providing the voice.

Given the Creature Shop's pedigree, there's a real hope this film could be the Island's biggest worldwide commercial box office hit, a title held by Waking Ned.

It's being directed by John Stephenson, who was hired by Henson in 1984 and who still heads the company. Previous films featuring the shop's work include Babe, 101 Dalmatians, Dr Doolittle and Cats and Dogs.

The lead character of Robert is being played by 11-year-old Freddie Highmore, who has just completed J. M. Barrie's Neverland opposite Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet.

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