After rumors have swirled across the internet the last few days, George R.R. Martin has confirmed that Sean Bean has been cast as Eddard Stark, the Lord of Winterfell, for HBO’s pilot of Game of Thrones that will begin shooting in Belfast, Ireland in October. GRRM mentions that the casting has gone global, with casting sessions held in New York, London, Los Angeles, Dublin, and most recently Australia.
Other roles have been cast, including Mark Addy as King Robert, a young Irish actor named Jack Gleeson as Prince Joffrey (he is about 17 or 18 years old now, for those who might wonder), Harry Lloyd (late of the BBC’s Robin Hood) as Viserys, and finally a theatrical actor, Kit Harington, as Jon Snow.
Thanks to Rimshot, a member of the forum who works as an extra in Belfast, we’ve learned of this report on on-going production work at the Paint Hall studio where Game of Thrones will be filmed. While the program is primarily concerned with a medieval comedy film set to start shooting there in three weeks, the video does mention a “large American TV production” that will start shooting immediately after Your Highness wraps. The pilot episode of Game of Thrones is set to start shooting in October.
James Poniewozik, TV critic at Time magazine, praises A Game of Thrones after reading it for the first time and makes the case for why it could be a great TV series on HBO. He continues discussing the series in comments, though asks for spoiler warnings as he wants to continue reading the series without knowing what’s coming next.
According to reports from fans of the series, such as the one here, casting is currently being carried out for Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Robb Stark. It seems that fresh faces are being sought for these particular roles which feature the younger characters, and the casting process may take a number of weeks before any actors are selected.
Over at the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, Dan Weiss and David Benioff surface to remark on the recent announcement concerning Peter Dinklage and Tom McCarthy joining the production. They note that McCarthy was their very first choice for director, and that Dinklage was always their first choice for Tyrion. They ask members of the forum to continue discussing casting suggestions, with a new caveat: given the production’s location in Northern Ireland, almost all roles are likely to be filled with actors from the U.K.
The Hollywood Reporter has broken the news that Peter Dinklage has been cast as Tyrion Lannister for HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot going into production this autumn. A well-regarded actor, Dinklage may be most recognized for his part as Trumpkin in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspain. Also announced, Thomas McCarthy has been selected as the director of the pilot. Although primarily an actor, the two previous films he has directed are the well-received indie film The Station Agent in which Dinklage had his first leading role, and the recent film The Visitor, for which he won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Director. He has also won awards at Sundance and other prestigious indepenent film festivals.
A new article from the BBC, following a press release from the Northern Ireland government, reveals that A Game of Thrones will hold primary filming in several locations in the country. This will include a “massive set” in the Paint Hall studios, according to the press release. Filming is set to take place in October. The Belfast Telegraph reports sources claim that the pilot could be “worth” as much as Â£10 million.
After further examination, this figure probably refers to the economic impact of the production’s presence in the Northern Ireland economy, which estimates impact by taking the actual spending and multiplying it by a factor that represents all ancillary economic activity.
According to an interview with David Benioff in the Swedish-language Metro newspaper, filming will commence in Ireland in October. A translation of the relevant quote: “I loved fantasy until I was 13, 14 years old and then I discovered girls. But George RR Martin’s story is more complex. It’s a more human story than just fighting against evil monsters. As a writer for TV (HBO) I also have a greater say. I’m involved in casting, choosing the director, and so on. We’ll start filming in Ireland in October.”
The Winter Is Coming blog, started by a fan to cover the Game of Thrones pilot production for HBO, has apparently scored a copy of the script and has posted a synopsis (including information concerning the planned title sequence) and his thoughts on it. Interesting reading, to say the least.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss dropped by the A Song of Ice and Fire forum to answer some questions and to offer some information concerning the location, ages of characters, and casting ... and a sneak peek, as well, at the first and last lines of the pilot script.
In their test post to the A Song of Ice and Fire forum, Dan Weiss and David Benioff mention that the U.K. is presently the likeliest shooting place for the pilot. They also promise to pass on information to the board concerning casting sessions and production hiring once the production is more thoroughly under way for those aspiring actors, set designers, and so on among Ice and Fire fandom.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss, executive producers of the Game of Thrones series which just received a pilot order from HBO, now have a shared account on the A Song of Ice and Fire forum. They’ve posted a message and are very interested to see casting suggestions from fans. The ASoIaF forum has a number of “official casting threads” for those who want to contribute ideas—just make sure to read the rules for each thread!
George R. R. Martin has reported that HBO has greenlit the production of a pilot episode of Games of Thrones. The Hollywood Reporter provides more details. Congratulations to executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, and of course to GRRM.
The A Song of Ice and Fire forum will very shortly have a sub-forum dedicated to discussing the series, which will be kicked off by a serious casting thread. Why? GRRM has passed on the fact that Mr. Benioff and Mr. Weiss are aware of past casting threads, and would love to see an updated casting thread which they promise to read. The only stricture we’ll put is the stricture this is generally a serious casting thread, meaning that contributors should think hard about the constraints of television and their budgets. $20 million movie stars don’t do more than one shot cameos.
More when we have it.