Is Benedict Cumberbatch coming to Ashridge? Shakespeare TV series and mystery Warner Brothers movie book the beauty spot for filming
It is thought that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch could be coming to the Ashridge Estate next week to star in one of two up-and-coming productions being filmed there.
The movie Savannah will be filmed on the Ivinghoe Hills and Northchurch Common from this Friday to Monday, September 22.
Lead ranger for the Ashridge Estate Lawrence Trowbridge said: “There will be a helicopter involved in the filming at both locations.”
The Warner Brothers film crew behind the production will be based at the barrack square car park on Monument Drive – near the Ashridge Estate Visitor Centre.
The makers of Savannah are remaining tight-lipped about its plot, when it is due to be released and who will star in it. So far they have only said that it has nothing to do with the film of the same name that was released last year.
The BBC will also be in Ashridge next week to shoot scenes for the second BBC Two Hollow Crown film series of Shakespeare’s history plays.
The first series – aired in the UK in 2012 – featured big-name actors such as Jeremy Irons. BBC Two has announced that Benedict Cumberbatch will play King Richard III in the second series – due to be broadcast in 2016.
Scenes for the historical drama will be shot on Prince’s Riding – the long strip of grass between Ashridge House and the Bridgewater Monument – on Wednesday and Thursday next week.
The area will be open to visitors, including riding permit holders, during the filming. But visitors are advised that there will be a lot of activity and disruption while it is going on, so horse-riders may wish to avoid the area.
The public bridleway across Northchurch Common will be closed while Savannah is filmed and there will be some road disruptions in the area on Wednesday and Thursday next week. Nearby car parks will also be closed.
Mr Trowbridge said: “We understand that filming can bring an unwelcome disruption to the normal use and enjoyment of the estate.
“The National Trust staff at Ashridge strictly manage the impact of filming to ensure that Ashridge is protected and conserved.
“Filming generates valuable income and these funds are directly used to fund our conservation work at Ashridge.”