King of Thieves / in cinemas from October 16th
The story of Hatton Garden captivated the public, dominating the news agenda from the moment of discovery until the eventual capture and sentencing of the gang. It was inevitable it would make its way into popular culture. Ask anyone on this film set about the heist, and the first thing they say is how they thought it would make a great film.
A famous thief in his younger years, widower Brian Reader, 77 years of age, pulls together a band of misfit criminals to plot an unprecedented burglary at the Hatton Garden Safe Deposit. The thieves, all in their 60s and 70s except for one, employ their old-school thieving skills to plan the heist over the Easter holiday weekend. Posing as servicemen, they enter the deposit, neutralise the alarms, and proceed to drill a hole into the wall of the safe. Two days later, they manage to escape with allegedly over £14 million worth of stolen jewels and money. When police are called to the scene and the investigation starts, the cracks between the misfit gang members begin to show as they row over how to share the goods and become increasingly distrustful of each other. Meanwhile, the crime has become public knowledge, and a frenzy of speculations begin. As details about the crime come to light, both the British public and the media are captivated, and the investigation is followed with bated breath around the world until the criminals are eventually captured.
Produced by Working Title Films for Studiocanal, King of Thieves is the incredible true story of the spectacular Hatton Garden diamond heist, the biggest and most daring in British history, humorously told through extraordinary cast of screen legends: Sir Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winstone, Michael Gambon, Tom Courtenay and Charlie Cox.
Whilst the scenes in the vault were recreated at Ealing Studios, the majority of the film was shot on location, taking full advantage of London, from the suburbs of Ealing, to Hatton Garden itself. It was the filming at Hatton that presented the greatest challenge for the locations team. Not only did they have to ease the way locally for a number of night shoots, but there was a sizeable amount of day shoots that demanded careful balancing so as not to disrupt business for the local traders. Not an easy proposition when taking into account that one of the scenes involved large crowds and overhead helicopters.
Worth noting that King of Thieves is the first feature film crew to have been given permission to shoot at Hatton.
In addition to extensive filming in and around London, the film-makers also tapped into the seaside town of Margate, in Kent, once a centre for fencing diamonds. Whilst this was not Joe’s original motivation for grounding some of the film in Margate, it started to become part of it.
King of Thieves is written by Joe Penhall, directed by Academy Award winner James Marsh, and produced by BAFTA winning and Academy Award nominees Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, alongside Ali Jaafar and Michelle Wright.