VILLAGERS in Shirburn are all a-flutter. They have been warned not to panic at the sound of “intermittent controlled gun fire and explosions” over the next few weeks — it’s not the outbreak of war, it’s only Brad Pitt coming to town to shoot his latest movie.
Pinewood Studios will be on location in the village until mid-November to shoot World War II film Fury which will also star Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman and Michael PeŮa.
The film is set in 1945 as the Nazi regime collapses and follows the five-man crew of an American tank called Fury, lead by Wardaddy (Pitt) as they attempt a deadly mission behind enemy lines.
Filming will take place in and around Shirburn, mainly on private land although Castle Road will be closed on October 17 and 18.
A fictitious German village will be created in the land surrounding Model Farm in Watlington Road and a sawmill will be built for use during battle scenes.
Beechwood Farm, also in Watlington Road, will be used as a unit base.
Shooting will mainly take place on weekdays between 7am and 8pm with night filming taking place on November 1, 4 and 8.
A group of marquees have been set up off Station Road to act as the production company’s main base.
Until last week most residents of the quiet Chilterns village were unaware that Hollywood greats like Pitt were about to land on their doorstep.
Then last week, members of the production company went round to houses in the village, posting leaflets through doors which warned that there could be loud and unexpected noises, like the sound of gunfire and explosions.
The spokesman said: “We wanted to warn people in advance so that they are not alarmed — but also, we don’t want people ringing the emergency services!”
Shirburn resident Roger Beattie said his neighbour had stumbled across a tank while walking along the Ridgeway last weekend.
“They are moving stuff around but we can’t see anything at the moment,” he said.
Fury director David Ayer, who also wrote the original screenplay, posted the first photo of the cast on his Twitter profile last week, along with photos of the camouflaged costumes and tanks.
The film is expected to be released in November next year.