ACTORS, producers and film crew descended on a Hadleigh restaurant to shoot the sequel to gangster movie Rise of the Footsoldier.

La Quinta, in Benfleet Road, has been chosen as one of the main locations for the Universal production, Reign of the General, which is set to be released later this year.

Five scenes are being shot in the restaurant, cocktail bar and Capones nightclub.

The crew arrived to set up their equipment on Tuesday and began filming yesterday.

The venue will remain closed today, but is expected to reopen tomorrow.

Gina Duke, events co-ordinator at La Quinta, said: “One of the writers comes down here quite a lot and one evening he brought along some of the actors and directors, and unbeknown to us they were checking the place out as a potential shooting location.

“With all the extras and film crew, we’ve had to close for a few days, but then we have got a lot to do ready for the weekend, because it’s looking like it will be a busy one.

“It’s amazing how many people they have brought along with them – I wouldn’t want to be paying all their wages!

“It gives you a really good insight to the film industry and what goes on behind the scenes.

“They are filming from lots of different angles so, because we know the venue, we have been helping them out.

“It’s really good fun and very exciting to know our business is going to be on the big screen.”

The film is directed, co-written by and stars Ricci Harnett.

He played real-life football hooligan turned underworld gangster Carlton Leach in Rise of the Footsoldier and is returning as the same character in Reign of the General.

The movie also stars Harry Potter actor Andy Linden, James Bond villain Steven Berkoff, Eastenders actor Nabil Elouahabi and Luke Mably, who is best known for his roles in the Prince and Me, 28 Days Later and Exam