Two will play HBO's 'Game'

Director McCarthy, actor Dinklage in for pilot

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 "A Song of Ice and Fire" novels, "Thrones" is described as an epic struggle for power set in a vast and violent fantasy kingdom. Dinklage will play Tyrion, the Queen's brother who is treated as an outsider because of his size.

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, in what the country's First Minister Peter Robinson hails as "the first TV production of such vast size and scale that has been filmed in Northern Ireland."

Dinklage, repped by manager David Ginsberg and attorney Karl Austen, is filming two features: the indie "Pete Smalls Is Dead," which he also co-produces, and Screen Gems/Sidney Kimmel's remake of "Death at a Funeral."

"Thrones" marks the first TV directorial gig for the Gersh-repped McCarthy, an actor who wrote and directed two features, 2003's "Station Agent" and 2007's "The Visitor," both of which landed him Indie Spirit Awards. On the acting side, McCarthy next appears in "2012."