The film, starring Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman and Ryan Reynolds, is a high octane affair about a deceased CIA agent (Reynolds) whose memories and skills are implanted into an unpredictable and dangerous convict (Costner).
One scene featuring Kevin Costner and Tommy Lee Jones was filmed at St Athan where Millennium Films’ production team had exclusive use of the Super hangar and runway that doubled as a US Airbase.
The Super hangar - which has been used for a number of films - is soon to have another starring role as Aston Martin’s new manufacturing centre for its DBX crossover vehicle.
The Criminal production crew were there for two days in total and filmed over the course of one night, approximately 12 hours when the airfield at St Athan was not operationally required.
Despite having to work within the constraints of a military secure site everything went according to plan and ran like clockwork.
In fact it was planned like a military operation with Wales Screen - part of Welsh Government’s Creative Industries team that provides a bespoke service to the film industry - liaising with a diverse group of organisations.
These included ExecFler who provided the Airbus 400 Atlas , the helicopter filming company, the Airspace owners (National Air Traffic Services at Cardiff Airport), the Airfield Operators (Serco) and the Airfield Regulators (MOD).
Together they co-ordinated and fine tuned arrangements that included the arrival of the A400, the movements of various support aircraft ferrying the cast and crew around, agreeing camera locations and sourcing a variety of items including aircraft steps, oxygen carts and aircraft tugs.
Millennium Films Location Manager Nick Oliver commented:
“Everything went totally smoothly. All the crew had an incredible time at St Athan. Our director was totally blown away by how epic it all looked with the aircraft set up and all the additional props to make it look like a US Airbase. We are very grateful to the Welsh Government team for all the help putting our ambitious project together.”
Criminal is released in UK cinemas on April 15 and is one of the latest productions supported by Wales Screen which has received 1,728 production enquiries over the last five years. Approximately 300 of those were actually filmed in Wales, bringing in over £111m to the local economy.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart said:
“Wales Screen has built up considerable expertise and provides invaluable assistance to productions filming in Wales. It assists both inward investment and indigenous productions on a practical basis ensuring that their spend within the Welsh economy is maximised.
“It forms a key component of the wider package of support WG provides to attract TV and film production to Wales which is now a prime location for national and international productions that spend millions of pounds in Wales annually.”