THE North East has been the backdrop for many blockbuster movies- the picturesque building and rolling hills are a dream for film producers.

And as recently as this year, film crews have flocked to the area as Hollywood studios looked to take advantage of the country's thriving film climate. 

From North Yorkshire to Northumberland and County Durham to Teesside, film stars have been spotted throughout the region over the years. 

Here's five key moments over the past few years:

Harrison Ford 

The Indiana Jones actor recently took the region by storm when he visited everywhere from North Yorkshire to Northumberland while filming the latest movie in the franchise. 

The Hollywood star was spotted filming in the small North Yorkshire village of Grosmont, which caused a flurry of excitement among the local community. 

The Northern Echo: Harrison Ford in Newcastle. Picture: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURESHarrison Ford in Newcastle. Picture: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES

He was later spotted on Newcastle's Quayside, in North Tyneside and around Bamburgh Castle, where filming took place. 

Read more: Schoolboy's delight after chance encounter with Harrison Ford

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise greeted shocked members of the public as he filmed scenes in North Yorkshire in April. 

Hundreds of crew were seen setting up for filming in the village of Levisham on the North York Moors near Pickering, which appeared to involve the use of a modified train and tracks.

The Northern Echo: Tom Cruise in North Yorkshire Tom Cruise in North Yorkshire

Cruise, whose screen credits include the Top Gun and Jack Reacher films, was seen clambering on top of a carriage while apparently filming a stunt.

The actor was working on a new Mission: Impossible film, reprising the role of spy Ethan Hunt alongside Hayley Atwell.

Read more: Tom Cruise pictured on set in the North York Moors

Jim Broadbent 

A film crew was seen carrying out work around Northgate in the town today, along with Oscar winning movie star Jim Broadbent.

The Harry Potter star, who is also known for his work in films like Hot Fuzz, Bridget Jones's Diary and The Iron Lady is understood to have been filming The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.

The Northern Echo: Jim Broadbent was filming in DarlingtonJim Broadbent was filming in Darlington

It was announced earlier this year that he would be appearing in the film adaptation of the popular book by Rachel Joyce.

Stephen Morgan, who runs Pathfinder House, in Northgate, said he was stunned when he discovered who was behind the secretive booking made earlier in the week.

Read more: Jim Broadbent spotted filming in Darlington

Describing Mr Broadbent as "very quiet", he said: "The production crew were brilliant, and very down to earth.

"Due to the way we control access they used our Function Room as a Staging Area for the Actors and Support Crew, which allowed them some privacy.

"I am still a little stunned who it was."


The First World War movie received critical acclaim last year and will serve as a reminder for Teesdale residents who were alerted to filming in the area in 2019. 

Filming crews were spotted at Low Force waterfall and Wynch Bridge, where Bowlees Visitor Centre, near Barnard Castle, alerted walkers of possible restrictions due to "activities in the area" while signs warned of prosthetic bodies in use. 

The Northern Echo: Filming at Tees BarrageFilming at Tees Barrage

Other scenes were shot at the Tees Barrage, in Stockton, the outdoor adventure and watersports facility, during an intense river scene. 

How Tees Barrage played a key role in filming 1917

In light of the filming, Durham County Council named itself a 'film friendly county' and signed a northern film and media initiative to establish the North-East as the UK's filming friendly region.

It has previously been a filming location for productions including British drama series Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone and Billy Elliot.


It is no secret that everyone's favourite detective in the North East, Vera, regularly appears on high streets, housing estates and at other landmarks in the region. 

For the successful TV series of the same name has produced 11 seasons for ITV. 

Brenda Blethyn, who plays DCI Vera Stanhope in the hit show, recently made a return to our screens as the first two episodes of the new series aired in September. 

The Northern Echo: Vera filming in Chester-le-Street. Pictures: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES & BEN HOPSONVera filming in Chester-le-Street. Pictures: NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES & BEN HOPSON

Filming is continuing ahead of four further episodes as part of the new series, which show bosses have said will be broadcast in 2022.

Read more: 22 pictures as filming for ITV Vera in Chester-le-Street wraps up

Film crews shutdown a popular road in Chester-le-Street last year for scenes at a cafe in the town. 

Mainly filming at Citrone's Cafe on the Front Street, crowds were seen gathered every single day as they tried to catch a glimpse of the show's stars.

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