Forced out! Disney+ Star Wars spin-off shoot at Dorset quarry axed

Forced out! Disney+ Star Wars spin-off shoot at Dorset quarry axed

April 20, 2023

Forced out! Filming of Disney+ Star Wars spin-off at National Trust quarry in Dorset is axed over health and safety fears due to risk of rockfalls

  • The Disney+ series Andor was due to film scenes for its second series this week
  • But National Trust closed the site due to rockfall fears after ‘turbulent’ weather
  • The series also filmed scenes at the Dorset site for its first series in 2021 

Filming for a new series of the Star Wars spin-off programme Andor in a Dorset quarry has been cancelled by the National Trust after bad weather raised fears of rockfalls and landslips.

Scenes for the Disney+ programme were set to be shot at Winspit Quarry, near Worth Matravers, where filming also took place for the first series in May 2021.

Production crew had been spotted setting up a base in a field a few miles from the site and signs had gone up saying the quarry would be closed for filming from April 12-29.

But the site, which has also previously been used to film Doctor Who and the Disney film John Carter, has now been closed until further notice. 

The National Trust blamed ‘turbulent’ weather, which it said increased the chances of rockfalls and landslips. 

The site, which was used as a stone quarry until the 1940s, has now been closed until further notice by the National Trust

Film crew set up equipment ahead of filming for the first series of Andor in 2021

The Disney+ series is a prequel to Rogue One and the original 1977 Star Wars film

The Disney+ series is a prequel to both the Rogue One film and the original 1977 Star Wars film and follows thief-turned-Rebel spy Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna.

The crew previously took over the quarry to allow them to build the set and transport props and equipment for three days of filming.

The quarry featured as the cave where Saw Gerrera is hiding and scenes shot there involved Hollywood film stars Forest Whitaker (as Gerrera) and Stellan Skarsgård (Luthen Rael).

The second series is due to wrap in August with the show airing in August 2024.

A National Trust spokeswoman said: ‘The planned filming due to take place at Winspit Quarry has been cancelled due to safety concerns following the recent turbulent weather, which has increased the risk of rockfalls and landslips.

‘Visitors looking to explore the Dorset coast are advised to follow signs and keep out of unsafe areas until further surveys have been undertaken.’

Tracey Churcher, the National Trust’s general manager for Purbeck, said: ‘The coast and cliffs along this stretch of the Dorset coast, including the quarry, can be unstable and naturally liable to landslips and falls – particularly after extreme weather including heavy rainfall and hot dry periods.

Winspit Quarry pictured this week after bad weather led to the stoppage of filming

The site is known for its harsh rockfaces and caves which stretch back into the cliffside

Andor’s production base at Worth Matravers during filming for series one

As well as being used for film sets, the area is known for its stunning views out to sea

‘We urge people to take the time to read warning signs and follow the instructions so they can enjoy the coast safely.

‘People should always stay well back from the cliff and rock edges, whether on or below them, and we ask people not to visit Winspit Quarry until our experts are confident it is safe to visit again.’

Winspit Quarry was used as a stone quarry from the 18th century until 1940. 

During the Second World War it was used as a military defence site and naval and air base. 

It was then opened to the public after the war, although some of the caves have since been closed due to safety concerns.

The National Trust acquired it last year as part of a 350 acre land deal to protect rare bats that live in caves at the quarry, including the Mouse-eared and Greater horsehoe bat populations.

Disney+ has been contacted for comment. 

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