A TOWN is bracing itself for the invasion of 400 actors, extras and crew if plans go ahead for the filming of a Hollywood blockbuster.

Film director Joe Wright has earmarked Redcar, in east Cleveland, as a possible location for his latest film based on Ian McEwan's best-selling novel Atonement.

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said it had been approached about using the towm's promenade, which would be transformed into Dunkirk in 1940.

Negotiations over the production demands, which would involve the closure of the Esplanade from the Regent Cinema to the boating lake and the creation of a wartime scene, including burnt-out armoured vehicles, have opened and more talks are planned later this month.

The film, with a reported £36m budget, will star Keira Knightley, with Jude Law tipped to star alongside her in a story billed as a mix of love, war and emotional truth.

The film's location manager Adam Richards said: "We had a very successful meeting last month and one at the end of this month.

"We're still in the discussion stage, but so far talks have been positive and we're quietly confident.

"My brief was to find a beach, with industry in the background, so we've been scouring the east coast.

"I started down in Suffolk, going north through Lincolnshire following the coast and came to Redcar. It just ticked so many of the boxes.

"There will be a lot of design work we need to do before we can film.

"I would anticipate it would involve two to three weeks of preparation, then filming could be four to five days.

"We've no dates fixed, but it could be August."