Filming begins in Liverpool on The Ipcress File

Liverpool Filming is underway this week in Liverpool on ITV’s The Ipcress File, starring Joe Cole as iconic agent Harry Palmer. Lucy Boynton and Tom Hollander co-star. 

John Hodge has written the 6 x 60 with Paul Ritchie producing and James Watkins directing. The exec producers are Will Clarke and Andy Mayson for Altitude Television, Andrew Eaton for Turbine, Sandy Lieberson, Watkins and Hilary and Steven Saltzman.  

The espionage thriller is set in 1960s London and Berlin, against the backdrop of Cold War Europe – the book was Len Deighton’s first spy novel to introduce protagonist Palmer. When the commission was first announced, director Watkins said: “We can’t wait to bring Len Deighton’s intoxicating web of spies - sexier than Smiley’s people, more real than Bond - to a wider television audience. With his sly wit and understated integrity clashing against the establishment, working-class spy Harry Palmer is more relevant than ever.”

Filming is also due to take place in Croatia, a major international production hub that frequently doubles for other locales. Shooting resumed for domestic productions last June in the country, with international projects such as Nicolas Cage’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent able to film there by the autumn. 

Liverpool is also a long-established international filming destination, able to support several productions at any one time, and with grand civic architecture that can stand in for other world cities. 

At the end of last year, Liverpool Film Office announced that although nearly six months were wiped out, production-wise, in pandemic-hit 2020, the city still hosted 212 projects, comprising 670 filming days and boosting the local economy by nearly £13.5m. 

Construction on two new sound stages is underway, on a plot adjacent to the iconic Littlewoods building, which is also set to be a  dedicated film and TV facility for the region. 
Joe Cole image: GQ. 

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