…but stars come out to offer glimmer of hope for new industry

A MAJOR £12 million fantasy film starring Bill Nighy and Malcolm McDowell could be filmed in Jersey after producers decided that the Island's castles and beaches could make the perfect backdrop.

Bill Nighy who could be filming in Jersey
Bill Nighy who could be filming in Jersey

A MAJOR £12 million fantasy film starring Bill Nighy and Malcolm McDowell could be filmed in Jersey after producers decided that the Island's castles and beaches could make the perfect backdrop.

Film producers Canbedone Ltd have been given a £200,000 grant of taxpayers' money towards the costs of creating 'Knights of Impossingworth' in Jersey and could start filming within months.

It was originally meant to be shot in August 2011, but Economic Development Minister Alan Maclean says that he has been told filming could begin around March or April. 'It is an exciting idea,' said the Senator.

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Comments for: "…but stars come out to offer glimmer of hope for new industry"

Old Crappo

this article states "A major £12 million fantasy film starring Bill Nighy and Malcolm McDowell COULD be filmed in Jersey"(the word COULD appears 4 times in this short article). To my mind the word "Could" does not mean that it's cast in stone and therefore may change, i.e. it could just as well be filmed in Guernsey, but then the article goes on to state that £200K of tax payers money has been given in a grant. I just hope that Clanger McLean does not part with tax payers money until we know for sure that filming will take place in Jersey. Or it COULD of course be just bad journalism and a badly written article!

spell cheque

"old crappo"...if you are a true Jerseyman(bean) should it not be CRAPAULD??


or even crapaud

Old Crappo

Spell Cheque, yes you are probably right, I never went outside the Parish of St. Ouen until I turned 21 so my education was very limited!


This article is both interesting & frustrating at the same time. A single movie with some scene's shot in Jersey does not equate to a new industry. Post production, special effects, editing, CGI and all the other aspects will be carried out somewhere else because Jersey does not have the infrastructure needed. But the film, game & media industries with their tie-in requirements could so easily be located on the island. If the finance industry is happy to be in Jersey because of the beneficial tax situation, you can bet that the electronic arts sector would be too. There are not enough graduates leaving university with the right training to work in this field and it's expanding all the time, despite the rest of the economy. So if the Minister for Economic Development wants to see growth, employment & stability for Jersey in an industry that is not villified as finance is, then here's my suggestion.



How clanger Maclean loves giving taxpayers money away for totally unnecessary projects, and how angry this makes those who are struggling to keep warm and put food on the table in these times of austerity. Surely this sort of money could be put to far better and more practical use.

Let us hope that Canbedone Ltd feel inclined to pay some of their royalties back into the Island!

Yea, yea, pigs and all that.


Well if this comes true then I'm all for it. BUT there's absolutely nothing on IMDB.com about this film or that Bill and Malcolm are involved.


Well hopefully this will start bringing the much needed tourist back to the beautiful rock.


Listen Al give me £200k and i can make a film as well !!!

the thin wallet

great news , i like bill nighy , best mariglod hotel was good fun.

but i have to ask how much profit is in the return on the grant of £200,000.

yes its a good advert for jersey the castles the beaches .

but how much profit or will it break even in returns of show nothing at all ?

hope fully there will be some extra's work going .

this is great fun and generally fair pay .

even better if you have a equity card.

St Clement Gardener

Is this for real?

Surely if the film company wants to use our castles they will come anyway?? Why do we have to pay them? Is this normal practice for Production companies to request grants/payment to film in your country/Island. I hope this was negotiated firmly.

I can just imagine......

Production: 'We are looking at filming a blockbuster movie in Jersey, it will bring you fame and fortune as everyone will want to come and see the castle once they have seen the film. A small sum would help us decide to bring the production to your beautiful Island, we were thinking around the £200k mark should cover it'

Alan Maclean: ' Sounds like a good deal to me!'

I am lucky enough to go on a couple of holidays a year and I can say for sure that I have never chosen a destination because of a movie being filmed there. Once on holiday, I have often been to visit a town or city and been told by the guide that xxx was filmed here but never chosen the destination based on it. In fact I would say unless you are a very serious movie buff, you would be the same as me. The filming is probably only going to last a few days to little gain there.

Why aren’t our politicians using money wisely and treating the SOJ coffers like a business? There is clearly going to be little or no return on this. What a waste of money. This sounds like the article I read a few years ago on the news saying ‘this steam clock will bring x amount of people to the island’ I remember working out the figure per day and it was ridiculous!


Alan Mclean knows all about fantasy!


He likes gambling for sure...


The sensible thing for MacClean to have done would have been to have given a loan, with a binding repayment agreement based upon a proportion of box office sales. Why should a commercial, money making enterprise profit from our taxes?

Perhaps that idea was too clever for him.

Another point regards his authority. Should not a grant of this size and nature have been put to some kind of discussion and vote, ideally within the states?

I would question MacClean's authority in the absence of such a thing. If he comes out with the predictable argument that he has already committed the island to this significant cost to which no-one has consented, then perhaps he might consider making the payment from his own considerable wealth.

Simple Sid

It would fit in well we live on Fantasy island.


Bring back Bergerac, that series got more people to the island than any film or Tourism commitee ever did or could do. I should know I worked in Tourism in the 80's and many first timers said after seeing the series on tv they decided to Holiday here.


A little bit of googling digs up some interesting information. Canbedone Ltd is owned by the director, Keith Cavele, a film director whose only previous attempt at direction was in 2006 with the film entitled "Knights of Impossingworth Park". That film doesn't even appear to have been released on DVD. Is this film a sequel? Would it be likely that this director be put in charge of a £12 million pound film?

Bill Nighy and Malcolm McDowell were reported to be cast for roles in this film back in 2010, at that time it was also reported that filming would begin in 4-6 weeks! If either would now be cast in this film, I'll eat Maclean's ringbinder

Reading the Jersey Gov website, I note that the grant was to be paid solely to meet production costs that rise in the island. I trust that no monies have been paid in advance. Also, that proper due diligence has been done on this project and it's possible benefits to the island, particularly that such a large sum has been promised.

Harry Pooter

From what I can tell, the original film never came out. I can't find any stills or information on the film anywhere - every occurrence on Google is a website that automatically draws information from elsewhere onthe web. You could announce a film called 'Terry Le Sueur and The Space Walrus', announce some stars and the same websites would list your film.

What's more, I don't think a fantasy film with a budget of 12 million could in any way be described as 'major'.


Sweet hope this actually happens. I studied film at univeristy and came back to an island with a very limited film/tv industry. Hopefully can score a job on this. Thats if they hire local people and not bring in workers from elsewhere


Well, Tellaman, how likely do you think it will be that local graduate skills like yours will be employed in your own island.....look- I can see a pig flying over there.........

Lord Haw Haw

Wow ..... studying film at Uni ......

Bet that was the best three years of your life!

Media Studies Prof

Even more of a doddle teaching it!

Lord Haw Haw

I can imagine .... !

Just shove a DVD on every lesson and hey presto ...


More money down the drain!!!

My god! When are they ever going to stop giving our money away!!!!


I've said many times that Jersey should offer itself as a filming destination. The impact of Film & TV locations is huge for tourism, we know that ourselves with Bergerac.


True. I wouldn't be surprised if tourism went down hill since they stopped Bergerac.

That movie should not only be for the UK market like Bergerac, but hopefully to a world wide audience.

I can't see it being a number one but who knows ...

Better investment than the Rugby shirts.


This is really simple; did McLean's use of public money for a polo jolly on St Brelades beach bring in any extra quantifiable cash to the island? If so, let's see the figures as thats how he sold it to us.

In the same way, I'm sure that he will be able to confirm that he has mechanisms in place to quantify the money that this gamble will bring into the island?

My guess is that he has no data or plans to collect any data to justify his 'schemes'. He is simply another snob wasting my money and playing at being a Minister.

The man is inept, clueless and worst of all, SQUANDERING money that could and should be put to better use.


At the moment tourism seems to be our only way out to tackle unemployment. You never know, the film might be success, more movies can follow, something good can come out of it. I think it s worth the shot.


Ok Kermit lets keep giving him OUR money and MAYBE we might get some visitors?



I know it seems steep and very unlikely, but New Zealand gain a massive boost in tourism with the Lord of The Ring. Between giving free flights away and putting Jersey.com on the Jersey rugby team, that's probably their best shot.

They are spending a £100 000 for a swimming pool make over who s going to be surrounded by green seaweed due to the direct access to our sewage. So wasting another 200K won't stop me from sleeping at night.


Jersey is NOT New Zealand, I have been a few times and it is a fab country with forests, beaches, mountains, volcanos, Queenstown with it's adventure sports.

Jersey is a small island with a lot of building and no mountains!

Simple Sid

Overpopulated you want to try living there it's ok going for holiday but when you have to work and live in their system it's appalling.


It s not only New Zealand.

The beach with Di Caprio made it very popular, they even put a massive poster/sign of him when you get to Kho Pipi Harbour.

Sacree Coeur in Paris was very popular after the Amelie movie.

The bridge of the River Kwai is another one and I am sure there is more.

I am surprised that you can't see some of the natural beauty around the Island. I am not sure if you can see the coast line from St Ouen Village but you need to get out more. Should start with Plemont ;)

Parktown Prawn


I have been to "The Beach"....it is nothing like the beach in the movie, which was digitally enhanced. Also, where were these signs of Di Caprio? I never saw them anywhere when I visited Kho PiPi (although that was before the Tsunami).

Paris would be popular without the movie Amelie anyway.....what are you on?

You'll be saying people only flock to London next because The Iron lady was filmed there!!

The Bridge of the River Kwai? Popular with tourists?....not a very inappropriate example.....that would attract tourists in the same way that Auschwitz might or some deranged serial killers house would!!


I am sure when they offered you the tour to go the Beach, they described it as where the movie was filmed. That is just to show the point of movie advertising.

People go and visit the cafe of the Amelie movie which is obviously good for business.

Without the movie, the cafe will be like any other. I never said that people go to Paris just for that, but while you are there ... same thing for the River kwai Bridge, they also do tours, just goggle it. Alcatraz also offer tours.

I have been to a few harbors in Thailand, may be it wasn't Ko Pipi, but I never took mushroom shakes on a boat and there is definitively a big board on one of them.

Sorry to hear that you were disappointed with the beach but you shouldn't believe everything in the movies.

Parktown Prawn

actually Kermit, it wasn't a "tour" we just stopped by as it was one of many small islands we visited......Monkey island was far better and I am not aware of any movies being made there ;-)

I wasn't disappointed about "The Beach" Kermit....but it was false advertising in a way....as I said....it looked nothing like it did in the movie......and I'll never go back as a result.

Why would tourists come to Jersey just because a movie is allegedly filmed here?

The plots for The Others and Magicians were based in Jersey, but there was no filming done in Jersey at all.....how is that beneficial to the island?


It s called: Film location tourism.

If you google it you will find this :

The Harry Potter films led to a 120% rise in visitors to Northumberland's Alnwick Castle, and had brought about £9m worth of tourism to the region.

Do I have to do all the movies one by one ?

This time the crew is filming here because the movie is about knights and obviously, they will need some kind of Castle to go with it. But there again they might say that the story is based in Scotland.


Very strange as it appears the Ministerial decision to pass over £200,000 was made in 2011, after being requested in 2010.

And it has just made the news, still no sign of the film.

Certainly a flight of funds not just fantasy.


The Jersey Bull

A MAJOR £12 million fantasy film starring Bill Nighy and Malcolm McDowell COULD be filmed in Jersey after producers decided that the Island’s castles and beaches could make the perfect backdrop - NO KIDDING!

I sincerely hope that Canbedone Ltd have NOT been given a £200,000 grant of taxpayers’ money towards the costs of creating ‘Knights of Impossingworth’ - #12 million would barely cover the production costs of an HBO episode of any modern series made for TV and shows that this it a cheap fly-by-night B-list production that will get very limited distribution if any. Trotting out a couple of tired old B-list actors that any self respecting producer knows you could never hope to finance a serious production on, just shows how inexperienced the producers are and how gullible Economic Development is and how little the know or understand about the film industry.

For starters, this one time production that will bring very little revenue in the way of production costs into the island and in fact we should be charging the production company for the location and location services - NOT PAYING THE PRODUCER for pie in the sky. Certainly not investing any taxpayer's money without getting a piece of the GROSS pie.

As for advertising, a one time production unless it a great block buster gets you a nickel and a cup of coffee at best.

What this says about the producers is that they are unable to finance their production and are running around hustling up a buck there and a pound here - in other words they don't have the budget financed and they don't have a decent distribution deal in place to support the initial investment.

The only kind of film production that would benefit the Island would be an ongoing (min 5 years) American TV series with big US prime-time distribution- piss-pot shows like Bergerac end up with limited foreign markets distribution - most couldn't even get a slot on PBS at the bottom of the air-time barrel in the US