Lancaster Castle is setting for new Hollywood film

On location: The crew filmed scenes at Lancaster Castle for a new movie directed by Sir Ridley Scott (below)
On location: The crew filmed scenes at Lancaster Castle for a new movie directed by Sir Ridley Scott (below)
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Lancaster Castle played host to famous names when it was transformed into a movie set.

The castle’s former prison facilities were the setting for a forthcoming Hollywood Christmas film, Get Santa, produced by Oscar-nominated Sir Ridley Scott.

Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott

Actors Jim Broadbent, who starred in Harry Potter and Bridget Jones, and Warwick Davis, from Star Wars, were spotted in Lancaster shopping and dining out along with other cast and crew members.

It is not clear whether Sir Ridley, known for films such as Blade Runner, Alien and Gladiator, made an appearance on set.

His production company, Scott Free London, took a week to decorate the whole of ‘A’ wing in the former prison, which closed in 2012, and filming lasted nearly two weeks, finishing last weekend.

Sources say the team needed a prison to film in and after considering venues in Yorkshire, decided to have a look at Lancaster.

The film, directed by Christopher Smith, begins when nine-year-old Tom discovers Santa – played by Jim Broadbent – in the garden shed just days before Christmas.

Escaping the wreckage of his sleigh and desperate to return to Lapland, Santa has come to ask Tom and his dad Steve for help. But Steve has just been released from prison and he just wants to stay out of trouble and spend time with his son.

Only after Santa is arrested - for trying to liberate his reindeer from Battersea Dogs Home - can Tom persuade Steve to carry out Santa’s plan.

A spokesman for the castle said: “They locked down the set incredibly tightly. Tours and court cases needed to continue so everything had to be kept completely under wraps.

“The best thing from our perspective is that it created an income for the castle. Lots of local companies were hired and a lot of the cast and crew decided to stay in Lancaster at various hotels.”