The timeworn streets of the Old Town are about to be transported into a superhero-studded world of action as explosive scenes are filmed for the next instalment of Hollywood blockbuster the Avengers.
Dubbed the ultimate blend of heroism and humour, the Marvel franchise behind the Avengers – a supergroup of superheroes – will bring the trademark battle for truth and justice to the historic High Street cobbles when filming gets under way on Saturday.
Avengers: Infinity War filming has begun in Atlanta with cast members, including Robert Downey Jr (Iron Man), Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), and Tom Holland (Spider-Man), already spotted on the set of the £400 million blockbuster.
Filming in Edinburgh will begin with drones shooting aerial footage of the Old Town. It is not clear at this stage when members of the star-studded cast, which also includes Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow) and Chris Evans (Captain America) in a huge cast of big names, might appear in the Capital.
Crews will begin lighting tests and equipment set-up this weekend ahead of filming on Cockburn Street on Monday and Tuesday from 6pm and on the Royal Mile for a week from March 30.
Neighbours have been warned that “small explosions” will take place on April 2 and April 6.
Other A-listers already signed up to the first part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe double sequel, include Tom Hiddleston, Vin DiesEl, Mark Ruffalo and Jeremy Renner.
Unsurprisingly those with a window seat can’t wait to catch a glimpse of the action.
Old Town resident John Stephenson said: “I have lived on the High Street for 30 years and I have seen many things but this is the most exciting because the film company has told us there is going to be explosions and drones and dozens of A-listers.
“You get a fair bit of noise at night from drunks and people singing but this noise will be fabulous because when I go to see the film I can say I was there.”
Baz Morrison, 46, manager of Games Workshop, said: “This is great for the city and especially fantastic being on the High Street. There is potential that it could draw people in and we could get a few more customers but Edinburgh is such a beautiful city and I think we sometimes take it for granted.
“Plus if Iron Man walked into the store, or anyone we recognise, there would be definite squeals of excitement.”
The film company, Assembled Productions III UK Ltd, notified neighbouring residents and businesses of the proposed road closures for filming night scenes around Cockburn Street and Parliament Square.
A manned pedestrian closure will also be in place on the Royal Mile between Roxburgh’s Close and Old Fishmarket Close between 6pm and midnight on March 30 to April 2, April 4-6 and April 21, although resident and business access will not be affected.
Massimo Andreucci, owner of the Clamshell, said the production company had been very helpful.
He said: “I love these things happening in Edinburgh, but when they are not helping businesses and residents it can be difficult. They have kept us updated with letters and been very good with details about where they are shooting and given us plenty of notice.”
First billed as a two-part movie, with Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Part 2 Marvel is now drawing a more rigid line between them. The first movie will be simply Avengers: Infinity War, and will release first in the UK, in April 2018.