HBO has ended its more than 10 year tenancy with Titanic Studios, the Belfast, Ireland studio where multiple seasons of “Game of Thrones,” as well as the now-scrapped Naomi Watts-led prequel pilot, were filmed, a spokesperson for the premium cable channel told TheWrap Tuesday.
After the Dan Weiss and David Benioff-created series ended last year and the scrapped prequel pilot finished shooting, there was still an effective agreement between HBO and Titanic Studios that the location would remain vacant until a letter of notification was issued by the pay TV channel to Titanic Quarter, Northern Ireland Screen and others associated with Titanic Studios saying it no longer needed the studio. That letter has now been issued.
It is currently unclear where “GoT” spinoff series “House of the Dragon,” which was ordered straight to series by HBO in October and is currently in pre-production, will be shot, as the pay TV channel had no comment on that particular point. However, it is now apparent filming will not take place at Titanic Studios, given the end of the tenancy.
NI Screen chief executive Richard Williams told the Belfast Telegraph in a story published Tuesday that he had known early on that Northern Ireland was not a suitable location for filming the 10-episode prequel series.
“All that is happening… is that they have served notice to Titanic Quarter that they would not be holding the studios,” Williams told the Telegraph. He also said that NI Screen had asked HBO to issue the letter so that the space could be sold to others.
“House of the Dragon,” co-created by George R.R. Martin and “Colony” co-creator Ryan Condal, is expected to debut some time in 2022.
“They are in-room writing,” HBO programming chief Casey Bloys told TheWrap during the Television Critics Association press tour in January. “My suspicion is, this is looking a ways out, but my suspicion is it would be on air sometime in 2022. That’s with a big asterisk, but right now, that’s what I would say.”
“House of the Dragon” is set in the early days of Westeros and focused on House Targaryen, the family that Emila Clarke’s Daenerys belonged to, along with her brother Viserys (Harry Lloyd) and nephew Aegon Targaryen a.k.a. Jon Snow (Kit Harington). The series is based on Martin’s “Fire & Blood” book, which details the lineage of the Targaryens, and takes place 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones.”
Miguel Sapochnik — who directed several fan-favorite episodes of “GoT,” such as “The Long Night,” “Battle of the Bastards” and “Hardhome” — and Condal will serve as co-showrunners on the series and executive produce alongside Martin and Vince Gerardis. Sapochnik will direct the pilot and additional episodes.