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Games of Thrones: Prequel will be filmed in Belfast after Superman and Star Wars epics

HBO blockbuster's prequel will be filmed in Belfast

The prequel to Game of Thrones will be filmed in Belfast titanic studios.
The prequel to Game of Thrones will be filmed in Belfast titanic studios.
KRYPTON: (l-r) Cameron Cuffe as Seg-El, Ian McElhinney as Val-El -- (Photo by: Gavin Bond/Syfy)
Ciaran Barnes

By Ciaran Barnes

Filming on the Game of Thrones prequel will start in Belfast in October, it has been confirmed.

Staff at the Paint Hall studios in the city's Titanic Quarter have been briefed that their next major project will be a series set 1,000 years before the events of the fantasy drama.

The news is another huge boost to our growing TV and film industry, with Superman prequel series Krypton also being filmed locally and the latest spin-off in the Star Wars franchise coming here in April 2019.

As Sunday Life exclusively revealed in February, Star Wars creator George Lucas visited Northern Ireland before Christmas to seal the deal for the new standalone film.

The movie will centre on the life of Jedi master Obi-Wan Kenobi, with Ewan McGregor reprising the role he first played in 1999's Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace.

The new projects will secure hundreds of jobs in the TV and film industry well into 2020.

A Paint Hall source welcomed the developments. "This is fantastic news for everyone at the studio - from the cast and the crew, right down to the riggers and the catering staff," they told Sunday Life.

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Game of Thrones creator George RR Martin confirmed the prequel would have a different cast and has a working title of The Long Night.

However, the acclaimed author believes the series name will change because producers HBO "will want to work the phrase 'Game of Thrones' in there somewhere".

The original saga, filmed in Northern Ireland since 2010, has brought in millions of pounds to the local economy.

The Paint Hall was used as its main studio, while other locations that featured prominently included the famous Dark Hedges near Ballycastle, Ballintoy Harbour on the north Antrim coast, Shillanavogy Valley, near Slemish in Co Antrim, and more.

The areas are now tourist hotspots, with devotees of Game of Thrones flocking to see them in record numbers from around the world.

Last weekend, stars and celebrity fans of the series descended on Belfast's Waterfront Hall for an exclusive wrap party after the cameras stopped rolling.

Among those in attendance were stalwarts Kit Harington (left), Maisie Williams and Alfie Allen, Holywood actor Jamie Dornan and legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk. DJ Pete Tong flew in to perform at the bash.

The final series of the show will air next year, with each of its six feature-length episodes costing a staggering $15m to make.

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