Carey Mulligan was cast as Rose, but was replaced by Andrea Riseborough after Mulligan dropped out to do Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010).
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Sam Riley (Pinkie) and Sean Harris (Hale) have portrayed Joy Division lead singer, Ian Curtis. Sam Riley played Curtis in Control (2007), and Sean Harris did so in 24 Hour Party People (2002). This mirrors Dead Man's Shoes (2004) which starred Paddy Considine and Toby Kebbell, both of whom played Joy Division's Manager, Rob Gretton, in 24 Hour Party People (2002) and Control (2007), respectively. Also, it reunites two stars of Control (2007), Riley, and Craig Parkinson, who played Tony Wilson.
As with Brighton Rock (1948), the ending was changed from the 1938 novel, to have the record player's needle become stuck in a scratched groove, such that Rose hears Pinkie saying "I love you" over and over. However, Author Graham Greene said, "Anybody who had any sense would know that next time Rose would probably push the needle over the scratch, and get the full message."
This second adaptation of the novel would essentially not have been made if Dame Helen Mirren hadn't come on board.
Writer and Director Rowan Joffe originally had no interest in doing a second adaptation, but conceded that he would re-read the novel. In doing so, he fell in love with the character of Rose, and really wanted to make a version that showcased her.
Sam Riley was thirty-one when he played teenager Pinkie.
The climax was filmed at Beachy Head, a notorious suicide spot. A woman tried to kill herself by driving her car off the cliff on the night of filming.
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Terrence Malick had been announced for another adaptation in 1991.
This version differs substantially from the 1947 adaptation, in that the setting has been updated to the 1960s. This was a particularly turbulent time in Brighton's history, as the city was besieged by gangs of mods and rockers. This puts it in the same timeframe as Quadrophenia (1979).
Although set in Brighton, most of this was shot in the neighboring seaside town of Eastbourne.
This movie takes place in Brighton in 1964.
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Phil Davis (Frank Spicer) previously played the mod Chalky in Quadrophenia (1979), which was likewise set in Brighton in 1964.
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Dame Helen Mirren's first day of filming was the climax, a rainy night at the cliff edge at Beachy Head.
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Sir John Hurt played The War Doctor in Doctor Who (2005). Wiliam Hartnell, who was in the 1948 adaptation, played The Doctor in Doctor Who (1963).
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