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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 July, 2004, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Stars attend Thunderbirds debut
Sophia Myles and Lady Penelope's Thunderbirds car
Actress Sophia Myles arrived in Lady Penelope's car
Oscar-winning British actor Sir Ben Kingsley was among the stars attending the UK premiere of Thunderbirds in London's Leicester Square.

Sir Ben was joined by co-stars including Sophia Myles, who plays Lady Penelope, and ER's Anthony Edwards.

The film is reported to have sparked a row between Working Title films, who produced the movie, and Gerry Anderson, the creator of the hit TV series.

The live action adaptation opens across the UK on Friday 23 July.

It is directed by Jonathan Frakes, better known for his role as Commander William T Riker in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I hope when he sees this he'll be proud of what we've done with his wonderful creation
Jonathan Frakes, director

The 51-year-old actor has previously directed two Star Trek films, Star Trek: Insurrection and Star Trek: First Contact.

Speaking on the red carpet in Leicester Square, he said he had tried to capture the "iconic quality" of the hit sixties series.

"I hope when he sees this he'll be proud of what we've done with his wonderful creation," said Frakes, referring to Anderson's alleged unhappiness with the film.

Family entertainment

The studio has deliberately sought the family market by lowering the age of the lead character, Alan Tracy, who is played by 15-year-old Brady Corbet.

Responding to criticism that the forthcoming blockbuster was not faithful to the original Thunderbirds TV series, actress Sophia Myles termed it a prequel and said they had "set out to make a children's film".

Spy Kids star Bill Paxton plays Alan's father Jeff Tracy, while Anthony Edwards, best known for his role as Dr Greene in TV's ER, plays engineering genius Brains.

Sir Ben Kingsley, Oscar-nominated at this year's Academy Awards for his role in House of Sand and Fog, plays the film's villain, The Hood.

He said playing The Hood, whom he branded "a narcissistic idiot" came as a welcome relief after the tragedy of House of Sand and Fog.

"He's a pantomime villain. He genuinely thinks everybody wants to be like him," said Sir Ben, 60, who attended the screening with his son.

Thunderbirds unveils Penelope's car
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