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SLIDESHOW: Ely Cathedral: setting of new sci-fi film Jupiter Ascending starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum

By Ely News  |  Posted: April 18, 2013

  • Warner Brothers setting up to film Jupiter Ascending at Ely Cathedral. Picture by Keith Heppell

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Ely Cathedral is to feature in upcoming blockbuster Jupiter Ascending, starring A-list celebrities Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum.

The 12th century cathedral, which attracts 250,000 visitors a year, has been chosen as a filming location by global movie giant Warner Bros.

Crews arrived at the cathedral on Wednesday, and it is believed filming could start next week.

It is not known whether Kunis and Tatum will star in the scenes being shot at the cathedral, but it is nevertheless an exciting day for the city.

Built in 1109, the cathedral has a colourful history. It took 300 years to fully construct and has seen sections collapse, defaced and replaced.

Each year thousands flock to the cathedral, to enjoy guided and evening tours and to take in the stained glass museum.

Boasting a labyrinth, a Norman-inspired Nave and twelfth-century carved doorway which connected the Cathedral to the medieval cloister, the cathedral is majestic and steeped in history.

The West Tower stands some 66m (215ft) in height and 288 steps must be climbed to reach its peak.

Known as the Ship of the Fens, Ely is the fourth-longest of the English cathedrals and covers 46,000 sq.ft.

The site has been a place of worship since 673. That year St. Etheldreda, one of the daughters of Anna, king of East Anglia, founded a double monastery at Ely.

Having mourned the death of her first husband and after fleeing her second, Etheldreda restored an old church, reputedly destroyed by Penda, pagan king of the Mercians. She built her monastery on the site of what is now Ely Cathedral.

Etheldreda’s monastery thrived for 200 years until it was destroyed by the Danes. It was refounded as a Benedictine community in 970.

The monastic church became the cathedral we see today in 1109, with the Diocese of Ely being carved out of the Diocese of Lincoln.

The monastery at Ely was dissolved by Henry VIII in 1539 but was refounded in 1541.

The first major restoration took place in the 18th century under James Essex and in 1839 a second renovation project began.

A third major restoration venture, the most extensive to date, began in 1986 and was completed in the year 2000.

It is the sixth time Ely has been used as a location for a movie - The King’s Speech; Elizabeth: The Golden Age; The Other Boleyn Girl; The Other Man and a recent Bollywood film also shot at the city’s historic cathedral.

It has in the past been nominated as the Best Film and TV location in the East of England.

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