2ND UPDATE, 3:29 PM: Today’s closures of Soundelux’s facilities in Hollywood and Santa Monica have resulted in layoffs of about 30 of the historic postproduction sound studio’s 200 employees, said Leslie Cohen, the company’s bankruptcy attorney. “There are no further imminent layoffs expected at this time,” she said, noting that the company’s Burbank facilities remain open for business. “The company is still in business and intends to stay in business, and will satisfy all of its commitments to its customers, pay its creditors, and will sell the business as a going concern. The bank is consenting to the company’s further operations and restructuring efforts.”
HBO‘s Game Of Thrones has made piracy history. According to TorrentFreak, more than 193,000 BitTorrent users shared a single copy of Sunday’s episode and about 1.5 million people downloaded it during the first 24 hours. The numbers are “unprecedented”, says TorrentFreak. The previous record was set last year, when 171.5K shared the same file of GOT‘s Season 3 finale. Over 1 million BitTorrent users downloaded that episode. The HBO show is a network exclusive and not available on services like Netflix, leading to increased piracy numbers particularly overseas.
UPDATE: Our commenters have been beating on me like I owe them money for spoiling the ending of this episode and not immediately blaring spoiler alerts. I had this thing mostly written, meant to store it when a Brad Pitt break came over the transom but hit publish before it was properly polished with disclaimers. I am truly sorry if I spoiled the episode for anyone. I thought it was fair game after reading recaps all over about the events of this episode (and every other hot show such as The Good Wife, Vikings, Sons Of Anarchy, Boardwalk Empire, take your pick) after a major character is axed. But I’ll know better to be more careful next time.
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of Sunday’s episode of Game Of Thrones.
When I first saw the death of the cruel in-bred King Joffrey on Game Of Thrones a month ago, I paused it after that final scene, high-fived my son, and then we watched the scene again three times. When I told this last week to show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (the architects of the George R.R. Martin book adaptation), they tried to temper my enthusiasm going into last night’s episode. We were talking about their feature deal at Fox to write/direct the Stephen Hunter novel Dirty White Boys, but I had to start with Joffrey, and how they played his shocking, and shockingly satisfying, demise. “Didn’t you feel at least a little badly for him,” Benioff asked. “No,” I said. “I could have watched his death scene last the whole episode.” Said Weiss: “But the way we look at it, the actor who plays Joffrey, Jack Gleeson, is such a good guy, and now we don’t get to work with him anymore.” Me: “Sorry for Jack, but that last shot, the bulging eyes, spittle and snot and blood coming out of that nasty little face, I’d wear that on a T-shirt.” They warmed to this idea: “You could do that, and the front could say ‘Spoiler alert,’ and then you have the picture of a dying Joffrey on the back,” Benioff said. Added Weiss: “You could make a whole line of those spoiler T-shirts.”
‘Game Of Thrones’ Director Talks Tonight’s Shocking Episode, Teases “Confrontation” Of Season 4 Finale
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight’s episode of Game Of Thrones.
If you’re searching for an understatement, rock royalty Queen’s “another one bites the dust” could sum up the events of tonight’s Game Of Thrones. But it wasn’t just anyone who bites the dust: it was a King who was killed on the second episode of the blockbuster HBO series’ fourth season. Granted it was a crazed sadistic boy King whom no one besides his mother/sister loved, but it was a death early in the season that most shows would have saved for a finale. However, as fans familiar with the books by George R.R. Martin on which the HBO fantasy drama are based know, the blood soaked Red Wedding that served as the shocking penultimate episode of Season 3 of GoT was just the opening act for the poisoning of Joffrey at the Purple Wedding in tonight’s episode. Joffrey’s death is quickly succeeded by the accusation that his uncle Tyrion Lannister (played by Peter Dinklage) is the murderer and from that, the fallout will follow for the rest of the season – a season that started on April 6 with record high viewership. In short, intrigue and bloodshed have been taken to a whole new level on a show already drenched in both.
Spoiler Alert: Was ‘Game Of …
EXCLUSIVE: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have taken on their first feature project since becoming the architects of the HBO series adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game Of Thrones, which opened its fourth season last Sunday. They’ve made a deal with Fox to write, direct and produce Dirty White Boys, the novel about three violent escaped convicts and the lawman who attempts to track them down. The 1995 novel was written by Stephen Hunter, who also wrote Point Of Impact, the novel that was turned into the Mark Wahlberg pic Shooter.
Benioff and Weiss have been forced to have tunnel vision because of the creative demands writing and exec producing the ambitious signature HBO series Game Of Thrones. This is the first project they’ve made a deal to direct together, and the first since they began the GoT journey. They said it all started while they were shooting the breeze with a bunch of writer pals.
“We’re sitting around bullsh*tting and we started talking about lines we were jealous of before it came around to the familiar topic of greatest opening lines in novels,” Benioff told me. “Our friend Scott Frank brought up the opening line of Dirty White Boys. To be honest, I’d never hear of the book before, even though we’d heard of Stephen Hunter’s sniper series. Scott mentioned that opening line from Dirty White Boys, and it made me go out and buy the book, and Dan bought the book, and then we got past that first line and just fell in love with it.” Said Weiss: “It does grab you, the first line, and what keeps you is that the characters are so well drawn, really charismatic and awful people, so flawed. I don’t think you’ll be able to print the first line, because it’s got prison-soaked racism and is just really out there.”
I thought about this, and figured, what the hell. Hunter wrote it. I didn’t. Here’s the line: “Three men at McAlester State Penitentiary had larger penises than Lamar Pye, but all were black and therefore, by Lamar’s own figuring, hardly human at all.”
Game Of Thrones is a giant hit for HBO and is being treated as such — receiving a two-year renewal a day after the fourth-season premiere delivered the fantasy series’ biggest ratings to date and HBO’s largest audience since The Sopranos finale. This is the first multi-season pickup for Game Of Thrones, which is now assured to run for least six seasons. How far can the hit go seems to be in the hands of the novels’ writer George R.R. Martin, who is still writing Book 6 in the seven-book series. There is breathing room — the current Season 4 chronicles events that take place toward the end of the third book. “Game Of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo. “(Creators) David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling.”
It’s happening again. After viewer demand for the True Detective finale overwhelmed HBO’s streaming service last month, HBO Go customers took to the Web again tonight to complain that they can’t access the fourth season premiere. Like it did with the True Detective finale, HBO Go’s Twitter account acknowledged the technical problems. “Looks like there’s trouble in the realm. Apologies for the inconvenience. We’ll be providing updates, so please stay tuned. #GameofThrones,”it tweeted. That was followed by, “Having trouble accessing @HBO GO? Send a raven. @GameOfThrones will be available soon on HBO On Demand with some cable providers.”
Talk about game recognizing Game – literally and figuratively. With Game Of Thrones returning for a fourth season tonight, the blood drenched and court politics HBO drama got a social media shout out from another show that may not have as deep a body count but is no stranger to power plays itself. Netflix’s House Of Cards tweeted a “Welcome back” to the cable blockbuster today with some witty photoshopping of its own. While it is unusual for one show to give such a greeting to a rival, there is no doubt the Peabody Awards winning HoC just got a GOT boost from the connection and stuck in a playful dig - as HoC said in the tweet “Let the best House win.” The next question is, will we be seeing a Red Wedding D.C. style in HoC’s Season 3?
— House of Cards (@HouseofCards) April 7, 2014
While Lionsgate hasn’t divulged how it will deal with the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman as it goes forward with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay–Part 2, the studio has just confirmed that it is replacing Lily Rabe in the role of Commander Lyme with Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne on HBO’s Game Of Thrones.
Rabe was forced to drop out due to a scheduling conflict with a previous commitment to Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare in the Park. Commander Lyme, one of the leaders of District 13, hails from District 2 and is a past winner in a previously unknown installment of Hunger Games. Christie is a badass warrior on Game Of Thrones, who save the life of Jaime Lanniseter and is incredibly convincing in that role.
‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,’ ‘Iron Man 3′ Win Top Honors At First Annual Location Managers Guild Awards
Game Of Thrones and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty won top honors for its location managers at this evening’s first Location Managers Guild of America Awards, which was held at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills. The black-tie event, which was presented by the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward Office of Film & Entertainment, honors “outstanding and creative contributions of location professionals in six categories of film, television and commercials. In addition, filmmaker Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants, Sideways) was given the Eva Monley Award for his dedicated understanding of the power of quality locations to enhance a story.” Billy Crystal presented the Humanitarian Award to cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who won Oscars for his work on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Bound for Glory. Wexler was named one of the 10 most influential cinematographers in movie history by an International Cinematographers Guild survey for his body of work, which also includes In the Heat Of The Night, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (with Bill Butler), Matewan, Blaze and *61. Commercial location scout Scott Dewees was given the Lifetime Achievement Awards, and Sheri Davis, Director of the Inland Empire Film Commission, received the Trailblazer Award. LMGA President Nancy Haecker presided over the ceremony with comedian Jamie Kaler serving as host.
Global Showbiz Briefs: ‘Game Of Thrones’ UK Simulcast; ‘Mr Whicher’ Re-Upped; Andrew Davies Honored; More
Britain’s Sky Atlantic HD is making sure Game Of Thrones fans don’t have to wait to see the first episode of the upcoming fourth season. The pay channel will premiere the season debut simultaneously with HBO’s U.S. East Coast transmission. Catering to the faithful, it will air on Monday April 7 at 2 AM and then be repeated in primetime at 9 PM UK time. Following the first 2 AM transmission, the premiere episode will also be available on demand. After that, Game Of Thrones will settle into its regular time slot. The move is not unprecedented for Sky which has done similar simulcasts with the series finales of Lost and Fringe.
In a further move to increase its position in the booming UK production sector, Sony Pictures Television is teaming with execs Kieran Doherty and Matt Worthy to launch Stellify Media. The Belfast-based joint venture is SPT’s first move into production in Northern Ireland which has been the focus of increased attention ever since HBO’s Game Of Thrones set up shop there. Stellify will produce entertainment content for UK broadcasters and international export. It will also collaborate with SPT’s other production companies on development. UK shows and formats will be exported by SPT’s distribution arm. Doherty and Worthy created the international quiz format Secret Fortune (BBC One) and the reality gameshow format Take The Money And Run, which aired on ABC in the States. Most recently, they developed quiz pilots You Against The Nation for BBC One and Divide & Conquer for Channel 4. SPT’s chief creative officer of international production, Wayne Garvie, said, “Northern Ireland is fast becoming a hotspot for international production and at Sony we’re really excited about becoming part of the region’s creative community and launching exciting, global hits.” SPT’s UK production business also includes Victory Television, Gogglebox Entertainment, Silver River Productions, Left Bank Pictures and the recently announced joint venture with Karl Warner, Electric Ray. The addition of Stellify brings SPT’s stable of international production companies to 18 in 12 countries.
“What good is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?” “You can avenge them.” Game Of Thrones co-creator David Benioff has promised that “some of the most shocking and mind-blowing scenes of the entire series come at the end of this coming season.” You can judge that for yourself; Season 4 of the Emmy-nominated HBO drama launches April 4. In the meantime, below lurks the final trailer to whet your appetite. Look for stars including Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Maisie Williams, Iwan Rheon and Gwendoline Christie: