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Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 11:10 GMT 12:10 UK
Disney fantasy re-invents Norfolk
Matthew McConaughey in U-571
McConaughey swaps the high seas for the hills
Disney scriptwriters were really stretching the imagination when they set a fantasy film about mountain-dwelling dragons in Norfolk - the flattest county in England.

Reign of Fire, starring Matthew McConaughey of The Wedding Planner and American Psycho's Christian Bale, is being filmed on location in Ireland but is set in mountain-less Norfolk.

The plot involves the emergence of a brood of fire-breathing dragons who seek dominance over man.

Part of the estimated $70m movie action was to be set at the summit of a snow-capped 3,000 foot mountain.

But it took two backstage hands to point out to the director that the highest hill in Norfolk is 300 feet (90 metres) above sea level.

Small detail

Filming was already under way on location in Ireland when the glaring error was pointed out.

Electrician Shaun Hindle, from Higham in Norfolk, said: "I couldn't believe what I was reading when I saw how the film featured a castle on top of a mountain in Norfolk.

"I tried to explain that they were making a terrible mistake, but they just shrugged their shoulders and said it was a small detail.

"Their view was that the film would be seen by 200 million people across the world and only about two million would know that Norfolk is flat."

It is believed that all mention of Norfolk as the setting will be cut.

Reign of Fire, directed by Rob Bowman of X-Files fame, is the most expensive to be filmed in Ireland.

It is due for release in 2002.

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