You can now take a sneak peek of what’s to come in a feature film about the life of a world-renowned fossil hunter.

A trailer has been released for the first of two-part epic Mary Anning and the Dinosaur Hunters.

Labelled ‘the Poldark of Dorset’, the film will celebrate the life and work of Lyme Regis’ own Mary Anning.

The film stars Jenny Agutter – of The Avengers, An American Werewolf in London and Call the Midwife – and is currently being filmed on location in Lyme Regis.

Director Sharon Sheehan is halfway through shooting the first film about the life and loves of the eminent palaeontologist.

Ms Sheehan said that Mary Anning was an inspiring figure and an important role model for women in science and that it was important her story reached a wider audience.

She said: “The film tells a story of worldwide importance.

“Mary Anning’s spectacular finds formed the basis for modern theories of evolution.

“She was working long before Darwin published his Origin of Species and her findings were hugely influential in his writing.”

Funding is needed to complete the final scenes of the first film, which will cover Mary Anning’s childhood and lead up to her discovery of the ichthyosaur.

A further £100,000 is required to complete the second film, covering Mary Anning’s adulthood and her discoveries of the plesiosaur and the pterodactyl.

The film, which heavily features Lyme Regis, has the support of Lyme Regis Town Council, which last month agreed to provide funding of £5,000 should it be at least matched by West Dorset District Council and Dorset County Council.

Once the first film has been shot, editing is planned for the winter months to have the films ready for the first charity gala screening and film festivals in the spring of 2018.

Speaking of her inspiration, Ms Sheehan said that her daughter played an important part in the story. She said: “Her story was inspired during my visits to Lyme to fossil as a child.

“It always stayed with me.

“As a keen fossiller, I began researching and writing her story in 2000. “My daughter was very young at the time and we were fossilling in Charmouth.

“We found the most beautiful ammonite – the first for her of a myriad of finds. “She was fossilling in a dress instead of trousers.

“I admonished her and said ‘who fossils in a dress?’ to which she replied ‘Mary Anning.’ “I was really inspired by this. “Mary Anning had, and to this day has, practically no mark in history.

The new feature film is just one of the ways in which the modern world is finally starting to acknowledge her importance in paleontology.”