Lights, camera, action: Manchester city centre streets shut off as filming begins for new Amazon Prime limited series

The city centre was transformed into a haze of rain and fog on Monday evening, and for once it wasn’t the fault of the weather.

It was in fact the fault of filming that was taking place for the new Amazon Prime series Lazarus, an atmospheric mystery thriller starring Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy, and Alexandra Roach.

Both Faulkner Street and Chain Street were completely shut off to traffic and pedestrians, with dozens of film crew present, large monitoring stations set up in neighbouring buildings, and special effects teams scrambling about to mimic the necessary weather conditions.

It didn’t take long for a large crowd of onlookers to form, with both locals and tourists keen for a chance to see a star in the flesh, although crew were reluctant to give any details about what was being filmed to passers-by. 

Sam Claflin, 37, of Hunger Games and Pirates of the Caribbean fame, plays the role of Laz, a forensic psychologist trying to solve the mystery of his father’s death and sister’s murder, according to the series synopsis.

The British actor could be seen rehearsing takes for the limited series, written by New York Times best-selling author Harlan Coben and BAFTA-winner Danny Brocklehurst. 

Coben and Brocklehurst are no strangers to collaboration, having recently produced the hit Netflix series Fool Me Once – which was also filmed in Manchester. 

The crew gathered round the monitoring screens.

In fact, the city is a firm favourite among location scouts, thanks to its architectural variety, gritty urban character, and lower cost of filming compared to cities such as London and New York.

Fans of The Crown would have watched Princess Diana grace the streets of Manhattan, but what they were actually seeing was Manchester’s Northern Quarter doubling for the American city.

The Northern Quarter’s characterful streets have also provided a backdrop to Peaky Blinders and superhero epic Captain America: The First Avenger.

Filming for Lazarus is still in its early days and is expected to continue over the following weeks.

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