‘The Duke’ First Look Image

Jim Broadbent and Hele Mirren in 'The Duke'

Principal Photography Begins in Yorkshire

With investment from the Yorkshire Content Fund

Principal photography began this week in Yorkshire on THE DUKE starring Academy Award winners Jim Broadbent (Iris) and Helen Mirren (The Queen) and featuring Fionn Whitehead (Dunkirk) and Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game).

THE DUKE, based on a remarkable true story of one man’s attempt to make a better world, is directed by BAFTA award winner Roger Michell (My Cousin Rachel, Notting Hill). The film is based on a script written by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Clive Coleman and is produced by Nicky Bentham (Moon) of Neon Films.


In 1961, Kempton Bunton, a 60 year old taxi driver, stole Goya’s portrait of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London. It was the first (and remains the only) theft in the Gallery’s history.

Kempton sent ransom notes saying that he would return the painting on condition that the government invested more in care for the elderly – he had long campaigned for pensioners to receive free television.

What happened next became the stuff of legend. Only 50 years later did the full story emerge – Kempton had spun a web of lies. The only truth was that he was a good man, determined to change the world and save his marriage – how and why he used the Duke to achieve that is a wonderfully uplifting tale.

’We are thrilled to be partnering with Pathe and Ingenious on this remarkable story, and to be welcoming back Jim Broadbent who we worked with on Get Santa, The Great Train Robbery & The Damned United, and Helen Mirren – last here with Calendar Girls. Being able to bring such prestigious projects as this to Yorkshire is what the Yorkshire Content Fund is all about.

Hugo Heppell, Head of Investments at Screen Yorkshire

Michell reunites with his creative team from My Cousin Rachel: Director of Photography Mike Eley, Costume Designer Dinah Collin and Editor Kristina Hetherington. Make Up and Hair Designer is Karen Hartley Thomas (The Personal History of David Copperfield) and Production Designer is Kristian Milsted (Killing Eve).

THE DUKE is a Pathé, Ingenious Media and Screen Yorkshire presentation of a Neon Films Production. Executive Producers are Cameron McCracken and Jenny Borgars for Pathé, Andrea Scarso for Ingenious Media and Hugo Heppell for Screen Yorkshire.

Pathé will distribute the film in the UK, France and Switzerland and will handle sales for the rest of the world.