BLOCKBUSTER film studio Disney is to shoot a multi-million pound new version of Alice in Wonderland in Plymouth.
Internationally acclaimed director Tim Burton will put his own unique stamp on the classic tale – and it is being heavily rumoured that Hollywood heart-throb Johnny Depp will star as the Mad Hatter.
And hundreds of Plymothians will have the chance to get themselves seen by an audience of millions on the silver screen by starring as extras in the film.
People are being invited to a casting event in Plymouth next week, where 250 extras will be chosen.
Shooting will take place in the city in September for two weeks, and the hunt is now on for extras to take part in scenes set in Victorian times.
The name of the Disney/Burton film has not been publicly confirmed. However, an industry source has told The Herald that it will be a major new adaptation of the timeless Lewis Carroll favourite.
The filming locations in the city also remain a closely guarded industry secret, but impressive historic properties like Saltram House, Mount Edgcumbe and the Royal William Yard are strong contenders.
The film, which is due for release in 2010, will be shown in 3-D, and has all the hallmarks of a massive box office hit.
Its director Tim Burton has already made his name on hit films, including Batman, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands, which also starred A-listed Johnny Depp.
The pair have teamed up on numerous other major films, like the recent smash-hit Sweeney Todd. Australian newcomer Mia Wasikowska, will play the part of Alice.
The film's casting agents are coming to the New Continental Hotel, Plymouth, on Wednesday August 6 and Thursday August 7, between 10am and 6pm, auditioning for paid extras. There is a minimum age limit of 16.
Ilenka Jelowicki, who has cast for James Bond movie Casino Royale and is company director for Mad Dog, said: “We are looking for people above the age of 16 who have naturally coloured hair.
“We would prefer girls with long hair and men with natural styles. Extras will get to dress up in Victorian period costume, corsets and wigs and will have their make-up done.
“We would also like people whose work allows the flexibility of two weeks' worth of filming.
“Being an extra is not just about being a blur in the background, it can lead to fantastic opportunities. One of my extras has now gone on to produce his own film, and another went on to star in Hollyoaks for three years.
“There will be at least 100 crew on-set and it'll be a wonderful experience to be a part of a big movie. It'll be well-paid and hopefully a hugely enjoyable experience.
“It is definitely something to show your grandchildren.”
It will not be the first time Plymouth has been chosen to host A-listers and big-budget film crews.