IFTA nominated Northern Irish director Brian Kirk (The Tudors, My Boy Jack) has been signed to direct two episodes in the ten part ‘Game of Thrones’ series. The HBO show, which goes into production this month, also sees the addition of Michelle Fairley (Best: His Mother’s Son) to its impressive cast list which includes Sean Bean, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Lena Headey.
Armagh born director Brian Kirk’s most recent project, the smash hit ‘Father & Son’, earned him an IFTA nomination in 2010 and last week broadcast on ITV1 to audiences of over five million. Kirk has also directed the television movie ‘My Boy Jack’ and ‘The Tudors’.
Coleraine actress Michelle Fairley has been cast in the role of Catelyn Stark, wife of Eddard Stark who is played by Sean Bean. The actress was this year an IFTA nominee for her role in ‘Best: His Mother’s Son’. She has also appeared in ‘Hideous Kinky’ and ‘The Others’.
Based on the series of books by George R.R. Martin, ‘Game of Thrones’ is an epic struggle for power set in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. The series will shoot on a huge custom made set in the Paint Hall Studio, as well as various locations in Northern Ireland. Production will begin in July and is expected to last until the end of the year.
Northern Ireland’s Mark Huffam is producing the series, with funding provided by Northern Ireland Screen supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen said: “We have always sought to nurture local talent and support our indigenous film-makers, we hope that more announcements for local talent will follow the great news of Brian and Michelle’s involvement. Game of Thrones is said to be one of the largest television series ever to shoot in Europe and so will provide a great deal of experience for many local cast and crew. It is also excellent to see the wealth of stunning locations on the teaser trailer, Tollymore Forest Park has never looked so good!”
The series is due to air in 2011. HBO launched a teaser trailer of ‘Game of Thrones’ on Sunday, June 13th which can be viewed at www.hbo.com/game-of-thrones