The filming of a major movie starring former James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan is "on ice" for at least a month due to reported "cash-flow problems".

"Furious" crew members don't believe they will be paid and are not certain that the filming of the romantic epic Heaven and Earth in Cape Town will ever get off the ground.

They claim the producers have already racked up enormous debts.

But the movie's executive producer says filming is to resume in about six weeks and although R10-million has been invested in the project so far, it is "a gross exaggeration" to describe this as debt.

Crew members say everything was in place for filming to start late last week, but they were told on Friday that work on the film would have to be halted while producers tried to come up with funding to clear their debts and get the cameras rolling.

A massive set erected in Strandfontein will have to be dismantled this week because another film is due to be shot there. Heaven and Earth is a joint project of British-based production company Focus Films and Spier Films, which has offices in London and Cape Town.

According to a synopsis posted on Focus Films's website, the movie tells the story of army surgeon Dr James Miranda Barry, whose skills took the British garrison at the Cape by storm during the early 19th century.

Barry was actually a woman masquerading as a man, and was forced to assume the disguise because women were not allowed to enter the medical world as surgeons.

She was rumoured to be the lover of Cape Governor Lord Charles Somerset.

According to a disgruntled crew member, who asked to remain anonymous, British and Australian crew members flew into Cape Town from the beginning of December and were "guaranteed two weeks' work".

"We were told they were waiting to sign lead actors before the money would be green-lighted."

After two weeks, she said, producers told the crew that the project had been "green-lit" and filming would start in February.