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Friday, 19 October, 2001, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Depp attends From Hell première
Heather Graham and Johnny Depp
Heather Graham and Johnny Depp take the lead roles
The première of From Hell, a film about Jack the Ripper starring Johnny Depp, has seen London's East End recreated in the Czech Republic.

The film-makers decided it would be easier and cheaper to transfer the Victorian East End to Prague rather than try and hide the modern buildings of London.

The film, which premièred in Los Angeles on Thursday, stars Johnny Depp, Heather Graham and Robbie Coltrane, and is based on a comic book by Alan Moore.

Marilyn Manson
Marilyn Manson provides the soundtrack to the film
Depp and Graham went to the screening, along with US directors, brothers Allenand Albert Hughes.

Other celebrities who turned out for the gala screening included shock rocker Marilyn Manson, who provided the music for the film as well as the directors Allen and Albert Hughes.

When filming was due to begin it was realised the landscape of the areas in the East End of London where Jack the Ripper carried out his deeds had largely been transformed by tower blocks and roads.

So instead cast and crew decamped to a 20-acre area near the Barrondov Studios in Prague and turned it into Whitechapel.

But the existing buildings looked distinctly un-British and so had to be transformed using an army of carpenters and artists, led by designer Martin Childs, who won and Oscar for Shakespeare in Love.

Ripper's letter

The budget for the transformation was £1m but 20th Century Fox realised it was still considerably cheaper than trying to do the same in the UK.

In the film Johnny Depp stars as Scotland Yard inspector Fred Abberline who is on a mission to capture the elusive Jack the Ripper.

The title is a reference to a letter written by the Ripper, giving his return address as From Hell.

As well as trying to prevent the murders of a group of young prostitutes, Abberline is also up against his superiors who are trying to sweep the problem under the carpet.

The film is due out in the UK in February.

See also:

28 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Depp on Jack the Ripper's trail
15 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Suits you, Mr Depp
04 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Depp drama excites Venice
31 Jan 99 | UK
Depp arrested after scuffle
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