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01/03/2011 - The Impossible brings Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts to Phuket, Thailand

01/03/2011 - The Impossible brings Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts to Phuket, Thailand

Hollywood stars Ewan McGregor (Star Wars and Train Spotting) and Naomi Watts (King Kong and The International) touched down at Phuket International Airport recently for the filming of a new blockbuster movie called The Impossible.

The Impossible tells the story of a family caught up in the aftermath of the Tsunami which struck on the 26th December 2004. The disaster was triggered by an undersea earthquake in the Indian Ocean, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, which caused powerful waves to hit the shores of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Filming took place on the beaches around Khao Lak and Kho Phi Phi, to the south of Phuket. These two areas were amongst the hardest hit by the Tsunami in Thailand.

Since filming began, local businesses have benefitted from the increase in tourists and movie fans, eager to catch a glimpse of their Hollywood idols.

Locals and tourists visiting Songbar in Khao Lak also had the opportunity to appear as extras in the movie where one of the disaster scenes with Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts was filmed.

The Khao Lak Orchid Beach Resort in Khuk Khak provided accommodation for the cast and crew and was transformed into a disaster scene for the movie.

This is not the first time Khao Lak has played host to movie directors and TV producers; in 2006 a miniseries made by HBO called "Tsunami, the aftermath", starring Tim Roth, Toni Collete, Chiwetel Ejiofer and Sophie Okonedo was filmed in the area.

Directed by Bharat Nalluri, the series received little attention by locals. In fact, many local residents were not happy with the exposure the miniseries brought to Khao Lak and Phuket, as emotions were still running high in the aftermath of the real disaster.

The synopsis for The Impossible reads:

"The Impossible is the terrifying account of a family unexpectedly caught with many others when a Tsunami flattens their three-story hotel and the surrounding landscape and how they had to struggle to survive after being pushed underwater into a quagmire of dislodged trees and debris where they were thrown upside-down, and battered by debris."

The Impossible was written by Sergio Sanchez and directed by Juan Bavona. The film is due for release in late 2011.





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