'Thrones' ensconces old friends


Tom McCarthy has come aboard to direct HBO's fantasy pilot "Game of Thrones," on which the star of his first feature, "The Station Agent's" Peter Dinklage, has been tapped for a key role.

Based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling "Songs of Fire and Ice" novels, "Thrones" is described as an epic struggle for power set in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Dinklage, repped by David Ginsberg and attorney Karl Austen, will play Tyrion, the queen's outsider brother.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss penned the pilot script and are exec producing. HBO Entertainment president-turned-producer Carolyn Strauss, Management 360's Guymon Casady, Vince Gerardis, Ralph Vicinanza and Martin serve as co-exec producers, and Mark Huffam and Frank Doelger are producers.

"Thrones" is slated to film in the third quarter in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

"Thrones" is the first TV directorial gig for the Gersh-repped McCarthy, an actor who wrote and directed 2003's "Station Agent" and 2007's "The Visitor." (partialdiff)