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Kang

HBO's A Game of Thrones

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According to George R. R. Martin's Livejournal, they have signed a director, Tom McCarthy, for the pilot, and have cast actor Peter Dinklage as Tyrion! So things are moving along (though still no new updates on the next novel).

 

I have high hopes for this series and HBO has a pretty good track record in my books (Deadwood, Rome, The Wire - all among TV's all-time greatest, IMO), so I am fairly confident I won't be disappointed by their adaptation of Mr. Martin's masterpiece.

 

I am mainly only familiar with Tom McCarthy for his acting role as an unscrupulous journalist on The Wire. Anyone here seen or have an opinion about any of the stuff he's directed?

 

Kang

 

<edit>I am trying to keep an up-to-date season 1 cast list in post #41, if this would interest anyone.

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Cersei is pivotal, no doubt, but I can think of a hundred ways this could be blown, with any number of characters. Dany in particular. I mean, how do you handle all the teenage brideage going on in this, even on HBO?

 

Just one example of a subject that could never get the same gritty, too-real-for-TV treatment it has in the books. I've longed for a movie/show of Martin's stuff, but all along I've dreaded it, too. Martin's niche in this genre is that his stuff is so damned relentlessly brutal.

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I am mainly only familiar with Tom McCarthy for his acting role as an unscrupulous journalist on The Wire. Anyone here seen or have an opinion about any of the stuff he's directed?

He's only directed 2 movies, both indie films. This is his first time directing a TV show, which doesn't exactly get my hopes up.

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He's only directed 2 movies, both indie films. This is his first time directing a TV show, which doesn't exactly get my hopes up.

OTOH, that could be a good thing, as he probably doesn't come with much baggage from prior TV shows.

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He's only directed 2 movies, both indie films. This is his first time directing a TV show, which doesn't exactly get my hopes up.
As far as for the feature film vs. TV series angle goes, I would suggest that HBO episodes tend to be basically equivalent to feature films in most aspects save length anyhow (just my opinion, of course), so maybe that's not a huge issue. Production values are consistently high, there are no ads to get pulled by nervous family-friendly sponsors if, no, when the gore/profanity/incest/murder/evilness/debauchery goes a little farther than the other TV networks can get comfortable with... Kristof65 also makes a good point about him not carrying a lot of baggage left over from other TV series. But I can't disagree with you about McCarthy's apparent lack of extensive directorial experience, which is partly why I was asking in the first place.

 

What I've read about his 2 independent films was all favourable, but that was not a huge amount of reading. I'm still hoping that someone will weigh in with an opinion who's seen one or both of his films and who is a fan of fantasy in general, or better still, of the Song of Ice & Fire series in particular.

 

Kang

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I think the major difference between directing TV shows and movies is the amount of time that you have to work with and within.

 

When filming a movie you have a deadline, but its not uncommon for shooting to go longer if the director decides to reshoot a scene or that he wants to spend more time working on a specific scene. On a TV show, you can only spend so many days on each episode, b/c once you fall behind schedule, you're behind schedule on every following episode too.

 

Then there's the length of the final product. If you're directing a movie you can basically take as long as you need to, to tell your story. (corporate stuff asides) 90 minutes, 2 hours, even 3 hours if you have enough clout. With TV you've got a specific number of minutes to work with each episode and that's it. Being on HBO he'll have more time to work with since there's no commercials, but there's still a hard cap on how long an episode can be.

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I enjouyed the books until number five. All this guy does is make a charachter, make you like them, then kill them in some horrible way. I get it, life sucks, no happy ever after. I'll wait till it comes out on DVD if it isn't panned by reviewers. No one seems able to make a fantasy movie without going completely wild. THe charachters in the books were appealing because they seemed real, and even low key. I don't think that will translate into television.

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The one thing that goes over well on TV series are bad guys and George has plenty of interesting bad guys. Hopefully on HBO they wont get caught up in the audience just doesnt have the attention span to keep up with a storyline.

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I doubt HBO will tone it down too much, they have certainly pushed the limits with all of their dramatic series. I have confidence that they will do it right and well. Although condensing novels of that length is pretty tough, the focus will have to be much narrower than the grand scale of the book.

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Hey! More big news about HBO's AGoT pilot - it's official: they've cast the great Sean "I always die" Bean as Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell!

 

A few other casting updates also - King Robert Baratheon, Prince Joffrey, Jon Snow, and Viserys Targaryen all have actors signed up to play them - though none of these actors have faces quite as famous as Boromir's.

 

Not so long ago, GRMM actually mentioned that he'd finished a few more chapters of Dance with Dragons as well; maybe there's hope for my sanity after all!

 

All this (plus pix of a couple new Dark Sword greens by Jeff Grace for their GRRM line that aren't even on Dark Sword's freshly updated page yet) can be found on Mr. Martin's Livejournal page, linked in the OP.

 

Enjoy!

 

Kang

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The medium of television could actually do the storytelling more efficiently. All of those character chapters happening at the same time could be conveyed in scenes where the actors all throw down together. I'm looking forward to this even more.

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