Scarborough’s movie role goes down plughole to Bath

The Scarborough fishing fleet
The Scarborough fishing fleet
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It may be being touted as the biggest tale of sorcery to hit the big screen since Harry Potter.

But a Scarborough author is furious that the £15m blockbuster based on his novel is distinctly lacking in Yorkshire magic.

Yorkshire has stolen the show in recent film adaptations, including doubling for the South of England in the upcoming BBC Great Train Robbery drama.

But when it came to choosing locations for the upcoming Scarborough-based fantasy by vicar turned author GP Taylor the Yorkshire resort was upstaged by Bath.

Areas including St Michael’s Mount, Bristol, Charlestown Harbour, Kidderminster Town railway station and Lacock Abbey also feature prominently in Adventurer – The Curse of the Midas Box.

The fantasy adventure film stars Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, Lena Headey, Ioan Gruffudd, Keeley Hawes, Tristan Gemmill, and Aneurin Barnard in the title role.

It hits screens in America on January 10, when Graham Taylor will be walking down the red carpet in Hollywood to see the film adaptation of his 2007 best-seller Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box, originally set in Scarborough.

The movie is said to be a cross between Harry Potter and Indiana Jones and was filmed in 2012 in the UK with an all-star cast.

But Mr Taylor said: “Not a frame was shot in Scarborough.

“Sadly, all our great buildings have been replaced with concrete monstrosities. It is not a place where you can film a period film.

“The other problem is Scarborough Council is not geared up to deal with major movies coming to the town, unlike Yorkshire Forward, which had a great grasp of the film industry and film-related tourism.

“At least the two million people who read the book will know it is supposed to be in Scarborough.”

One of the first to cash in on the book’s local links, with much of the proceeds going to charity, was John Senior, owner of the Golden Grid and chairman of the South Bay Traders’ Association.

In the film, the Golden Grid features only as a set in a studio in Bristol.

Charleston Harbour stands in for Scarborough’s while St Michael’s Mount is the location for the Grand Hotel.

Mr Senior said: “GP Taylor was actually having some fish and chips here when he decided to write the book.

“But I do not think even he realised it was going to end up a movie with such a fantastic cast.

“We were a bit disappointed it was not shot in Scarborough but I suppose we should be grateful it was shot in England at all.

“Hopefully, people will watch the movie then read the book.”

Mr Taylor added: “My big fear is we bring Shadowmancer to Scarborough and get parking tickets.

“I don’t think the council understand it brings £30,000 a day into the economy for eight weeks with a crew of 200 people.

“I just don’t think Scarborough Council understands the potential of films.”

But a Scarborough Council spokesman said: “While it is disappointing that producers haven’t chosen to shoot the film in the location where GP Taylor set his original novel, we fully appreciate that filming companies have many different factors to consider when finding their ideal location and the use of ‘artistic licence’ is often applied in such cases.

“It should be noted, however, that contrary to the author’s claims, we have a very robust filming policy, which supports our commitment to ensuring we make the most of all filming opportunities in different parts of our borough.

“We also have an officer dedicated to handling filming inquiries who works with other departments in the council to ensure all requests are dealt with in a timely and professional manner and that filming 
crews are given all the 
support they need when in the area.

“In recent years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of filming inquiries received.

“So far in 2013, we have received more than 40 filming requests, of which about 80 
per cent have progressed to filming.”

Recent examples included All at Sea for CBBC, the Great Train Robbery drama and Channel 5 documentary On the Buses, 
due for broadcast early next 
year.

“Very often when we have had inquiries from companies unfamiliar with the area, our suggestions for possible locations have helped to secure their interest and subsequent filming schedules,” the spokesman added.

The film makers have refused to comment until closer to the film’s UK release, expected to be around February.