Game of Thrones: News

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Update on HBO Greenlight Date

In a comment on George R.R. Martin’s Livejournal, his partner Parris says that what they’ve heard is that “HBO will make a decision sometime in the spring - perhaps by the end of March.” End of March is certainly a longer time period than many expected, and the possibility of the decision not coming until April or even May is sobering. A January 2011 premiere if there’s a greenlight seems almost impossible if there’s no decision until the latter part of spring.

Last Eason’s and Moots Report

Phillip Lowes (Ser Mountain Goat on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum) has provided an incredibly detailed report from his time attending the signings and moots in Belfast and Dublin. That report, and others, can be found here. He’s also proposing that plans begin to be made for a Game of Thrones event next year.

Among the interesting bits that seem new is his report of his discussion with Paul Hardwyck, who advised the production on medieval weaponry and played a role in choreographing the training fight of Bran Stark and Tommen Baratheon. Hardwyck, also a member of the forum as Knight of Redemption, notes that initially the producers wanted to differentiate the Lannisters from the Starks by giving them curving swords. He also feels that the weapons are “too showy” for his tastes, though his perspective is that of someone deeply immersed in the study of historical swordsmanship.

Coster-Waldau on Lena Headey’s Pregnancy and Game of Thrones

A brief but excellent interview (in Danish) with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the Danish actor who’s been building an international reputation, about HBO’s pilot for Game of Thrones which recently completed filming. Playing the role of the knight Jaime Lannister, a good part of the interview is devoted to questions about the filming. The most notable pieces to come out of it? Lena Headey is pregnant, not so far along that one can tell when she’s dressed, but which required her to have a stand-in for a nude scene; as far as we can tell, this is the first time this particular news has been made public. Coster-Waldau is also taking part in a Danish TV series after New Year.

It does seem rather probable that pre-production on the series can likely start right after HBO gives its approval, but it seems increasingly unlikely that filming will be able to take place as quickly, given that other actors (such as Jennifer Ehle) are known to have work commitments through March or April.

Below you’ll find our translation of the relevant parts of the article:

Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo) in the U.K.

Jason Momoa, the actor cast as Khal Drogo who recently completed his filming in Morocco for HBO’s pilot of A Game of Thrones, will be in the U.K. for two events in coming days. First, he’ll appear at Nostalgia Comics in Birmingham on November 30th from 4 to 6 PM. Then, on December 3rd, he’ll be at the Forbidden Planet store in Belfast, Northern Ireland, from 6 to8 PM. There will be a charge for autographs.

It sounds like an excellent opportunity to ask the actor how he felt filming in Morocco went. Poster images with more information can be found at Forbidden Planet’s website. Hat-tip to AndyBelfast, a member of the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, for pointing this news out.

Reading for the Wait

While we’re all waiting the long months ahead to HBO’s expected decision in March, there’s not much fans of the series and the potential TV show can do but keep their eyes out for news. Maybe you’ll read some of GRRM’s latest works. Or perhaps you’ll want to read more about what goes into a production like Game of Thrones. We’re doing a bit of the latter ourselves, and came across a mention of Robert Stromberg in
Matte Painting (UK, US), part of the D’Artiste Digital Artists Master Class series.

Stromberg’s referred to as a mentor to another matte artist, having helped him understand that he needed to restrain his approach to painting. The book is filled with beautiful images from matte paintings throughout, and contains an amazing amount of detail regarding the technical aspects of creating matte paintings and integrating them into films. Makes for fascinating reading if you’re interested in the production side of film and television, and more so because it seems highly likely that matte paintings will be an important part of the production.

Visual Effects Feature

We’ve put together an informative and speculative article on the visual effects for HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot. This follows our previous feature article, an introduction for fans and casual onlookers alike. Whatever you do, make sure to watch the John Adams featurette to get an idea of just how impressive visual effects can be on the small screen these days.

It’s a Wrap: Game of Thrones Filming Ends

Filming on the Game of Thrones pilot has wrapped, according to VFX producer Julia Frey. So ends three weeks of shooting that took place in three different countries and involved a primary cast two dozen strong and more than a hundred extras. Cogratulations to the hard-working cast and crew, who pulled a number of all-nighters to get the job done!

Where to next? As we reported early last month, Modern VideoFilm will be carrying out some sort of post-production duties in February, with HBO expected to give its decision on a greenlight in around March. In the interim, we’ve really no idea what will be going on, though we hope to learn more soon.

Airlock Alpha on Game of Thrones

Bryant Griffin of Airlock Alpha, a media site covering genre works, writes a commentary on HBO’s proposed Game of Thrones series. It’s a great adjunct to articles such as our own introduction to the project, as Griffin covers similar ground but provides a bit more comparison to HBO’s past offerings (such as Deadwood) to make it apparent why Game of Thrones is simply a terrific fit for HBO’s storied original programming.

Jamie Campbell Bower Interview

In the wake of AMC’s The Prisoner miniseries and the premiere of Twilight: New Moon, Jamie Campbell Bower has been interviewed by Movieline. It’s a nice feature, and the second page of the article features a number of questions concerning HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot. One of the most notable pieces of this interview is when he says the following:

“It was a great experience. Very short shoot, but they threw a lot of money at it. Hopefully it’s going to be really good, and hopefully it’ll be greenlit and we’ll go ahead with it. It was great fun and a very strong, rich cast.”

Another Night Shoot

The production is in its final days, by the sounds of it. Last night was a long night shoot, according to a tweet from VFX producer Julia Frey, and it seems from another tweet this evening that there’s another night shoot. We know the scenes shot last night were for the wedding of Daenerys and Drogo. Given the large number of extras likely involved in the elaborate wedding sequence, it seems probable that more filming is being done of that scene.

Intro to Game of Thrones

We’ve written up our first article discussing HBO’s proposed Game of Thrones series. The article includes a rough timeline of development and when we can expect news on whether it’ll go to series, a look at the buzz surrounding the show in both fan and professional circles, some background on the author George R.R. Martin, and a discussion of what sets A Song of Ice and Fire apart from its predecessors in the epic fantasy genre.

We hope it’ll be useful for those who are curious about the proposed series and the books it’s based on, and perhaps as a quick cheat sheet for those who want to write about the buzz without digging through hundreds of posts and tweets across the Net. If there’s any comments or suggestions, please feel free to comment here, our Twitter page, or email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)!

GRRM in Morocco

GRRM has posted an update from Morocco. So far, he has watched the filming of the scene where Dany and Drogo first meet, a small part of Kingdom of Heaven’s Jerusalem set in Ourazazate (an image of the set can be foundhere) having been repainted and redressed to serve as part of Illyrio’s courtyard. Tonight, Dany and Drogo’s wedding will be filmed.

GRRM also shares some of his impressions of Morocco in his post, citing the many old film sets scattering the desert, despite struggling with an Arabic keyboard.

Jennifer Ehle News

An interesting article on a Jennifer Ehle fan blog notes that she’s leapt straight from Game of Thrones to a new film, The King’s Speech, with a star-studded cast including Geoffrey Rush, Colin Firth, and Helena Bonham Carter. Notably, the article the blog sources noted that Ehle missed the readthrough with the rest of the cast because she was still filming Game of Thrones, where she plays Catelyn Stark.

Filming in Morocco

GRRM, cast, and crew are now in Morocco to film for a few more days—a week at most, we believe, from what we’ve heard. There will almost certainly be very little news to share from there, however, so things will be quiet. The scenes there will be Daenerys’s scenes, with Tamzin Merchant as Daenerys Targaryen, Harry Lloyd as her older brother Viserys, Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont, Ian McNeice as Illyrio Mopatis, and Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo.

We do know that filming will focus in and around Ouarzazate, the home of two major Moroccon film studios which have been heavily involved in Hollywood productions. Moreover, we know that one exterior location that will be used is the still-standing set for the exterior of Jerusalem from Ridley Scott’s Kingdom of Heaven. More recently, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time filled at Ouarzazate, as discussed by Jerry Bruckheimer and the creator of the game Jordan Mechner in this recent interview. Some excellent information about past productions there, as well as the history and appearance of the area, can be found in a travel article from the UK’s Daily Mail newspapwer.

Esme Bianco Chat Transcript

The full transcript of the Esmé Bianco chat at LiveCloud is now available. Esmé was wonderfully forthcoming on all sorts of details of her career and, yes, the filming of the pilot of Game of Thrones.

Some details of the latter sort: she filmed her scene at location, not at Paint Hall, with no evidence of CGI backgrounds or other such details being added in post.  Over the course of her three auditions the production her scene was constantly being rewritten so it was a bit different each time. She says Peter Dinklage was terrific to work with, kept her amused, and no, she wasn’t aware that he wore a wig. She has no idea whether her character will be seen again on the show, but would love it if HBO wanted her to be part of publicity for the production.