Sherborne is looking forward to the release of a major new feature film, Far from the Madding Crowd, filmed partly on location in the town. The Thomas Hardy adaptation, directed by award-winning Thomas Vinterberg, is a collaboration between British production company DNA films, Fox Searchlight and the BBC and is scheduled for UK release on May 1st 2015.
The town was transformed in October 2013 for the adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel. A Victorian ‘market’ was created outside Sherborne Abbey, with shops on Half Moon Street transformed to suit the era and hundreds of extras brought in from surrounding towns and villages.
The classic story is well known … Far From the Madding Crowd follows the complicated love life of Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan). After inheriting a farm in Weatherbury, she’s faced with choosing between three very different men; the humble Gabriel Oak (Matthias Shoenaerts), respectable William Boldwood (Michael Sheen) and the glamorous Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge). While Bathsheba may seem spoilt for choice, she soon comes to realise that her playful allure and coy nature can have some very far-reaching consequences, while the other leading lady Fanny Robin (Juno Temple) is set to pay the ultimate price for her ill-fated relationship with Sergeant Troy.
Arts director Tim Blake said the most challenging part of creating the set in Sherborne had been its “sheer scale” and that “Hiding everything that is modern is one of the major jobs but it is helped by the fact there are a lot of untouched period buildings, such as the Abbey,” he said.
We’ve put together a selection of images to give you a taste of what’s to come next year – the film crew were very accommodating of the public enjoying the filming and exploring the set. As lots of images are now in the public domain, we don’t think we’re giving away too much of the plot by sharing some memories here – and we hope you’ll be inspired to see the film when it goes on general release.
Want to celebrate Thomas Hardy’s Dorset? Why not download the HARDY TRAIL and get exploring!