Guernsey Press

Herm the backdrop for filming ‘horror version of Captain Hook’

If you were in Herm a couple of weeks ago, you would be forgiven for thinking that you had somehow slipped back in time to the golden age of pirates and privateers.

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The frigate Shtandart off Herm during recent filming. (Picture by Elliott Cockett)

That beautiful old boat you saw was a frigate called Shtandart and it was being used for filming scenes for Captain Hook: Curse Of The Eldritch Tides, a co-production between UK distributor High Fliers Films and local film company Guernsey Filmworks.

‘We’ve been working on the film since last year,’ explained Lars Janssen, Guernsey Filmworks’ director.

‘High Flyer Films are based at the famous Pinewood Studios and they are always looking for ideas that are new to the market. They said they always wanted to do a horror version of Captain Hook. I came up with a concept, we had meetings with everyone chipping in, they liked it and they gave me the money to make the film.

‘There were a lot of negotiations and travelling back and forth to the UK. It was helpful that I’d already made films on Guernsey because I could show them what it was like.’

Lars is quick to point out that the film isn’t based on Peter Pan by JM Barrie.

(Picture by Matthew Stockreiter)

‘It’s important to mention before people draw the wrong conclusion is that it’s not a re-telling of the Peter Pan story. In fact it has nothing to do with it at all. But it’s a dark re-imagining of the character Captain Hook on his own, in a way chronicling his origin story, and with a lot of creative freedom. It will be a full-length feature film.’

In St Petersburg 1702, under the order from tzar Peter and governor Menshikov, there began the construction of the first ships for the new Russian Navy, of which the frigate Shtandart became the flagship.

The building of the replica ship was begun by captain Vladimir Martus in 1988. The craft has already featured in the 2023 Disney production Peter Pan And Wendy and the 2015 Dutch film Michiel De Ruyther, internationally known as The Admiral.

‘After months of logistics we managed to get Shtandart to Guernsey for exclusive filming,’ said Lars.

‘It’s basically a sailing museum and sails to different maritime festivals in France and Europe. It has quite a big crew of young people from all over the world – Russia, UK, US, Holland.

‘We had two lovely days filming around the back of Herm with Captain Martus, his amazing crew and a group of local actors and extras. And we got to fire the cannons as well. The Shtandart has real cannons on board but they had run out of gunpowder so we needed someone who could legally transport it, so we asked Standard Fireworks Guernsey.

‘I think some people on Herm were expecting cannonballs.

‘Same goes for the school kids sailing past during their excursion screaming at the top of their lungs in excitement at seeing a bunch of pirates waving at them from a pirate ship.’

(Picture by Matthew Stockreiter)

The sea around Herm won’t be the only setting for the film.

‘A lot of local historical sites will become a backdrop for the film and we will be filming at Castle Cornet,’ said Lars.

‘We have a guy coming over who worked on the TV series Black Sails. He provided all the British Redcoats with their uniforms.’

The film will be released worldwide in 2025 via Video on Demand, DVD and in several territories it will get a theatrical release as well.

‘But not before we have premiered the film in Guernsey first,’ said Lars. ‘All of this is very much in line with Guernsey Filmworks’ mission of bringing Guernsey to a worldwide audience.

‘Also, anyone in Guernsey or Alderney who would like to get involved in the film, either in front or behind the camera, is more than welcome. We particularly need bearded men for the parts of pirates and everyone for the roles of townsfolk. You can contact us via’

  • Guernsey Filmworks is a production division of Revasser Films. To find out more, visit