HBO's fantasy action/drama series Game of Thrones is more popular now than ever it was, just in terms of ratings alone. The series will continue to evolve (from an artistic perspective) during its fifth season, as it brings new directors and additional cast members/characters into the fold, and will even start incorporating flashback storytelling techniques into the mix. This month, however, the show will break new ground for a cable program altogether, by becoming the first of its kind to screen in IMAX theaters.
IMAX Corporation has announced that two episodes from Game of Thrones' fourth season will be digitally remastered and shown in upwards of 150 IMAX theaters across the U.S. for a week, starting this month on [UPDATE: January 30th, 2015, according to EW, now that more IMAX screens are being added to the list]. The first season 5 footage will also make its official worldwide debut at that time, as an IMAX exclusive season 5 "sneak peek" trailer will show with the aforementioned episodes during their IMAX run.
IMAX Senior Executive Vice President, IMAX Corp. and IMAX Entertainment CEO Greg Foster has issued the following statement on the matter:
“We couldn’t think of a series more fitting than Game of Thrones to be the first presented in IMAX. The scope and production quality of the show is quite remarkable, which will be highlighted even further in select IMAX locations – allowing fans, as never before, to become a part of author George R. R. Martin’s world that David Benioff and D. B. Weiss created for HBO. It has the action, storyline and epic nature that our fans seek in IMAX and we’re thrilled to team with HBO and our longtime partners at Warner Brothers to offer audiences a chance to experience it in the ultimate theatre setting joined by other fans of the series.”
The penultimate Game of Thrones season 4 episode, "The Watchers on the Wall", will undoubtedly be one of the episodes shown in IMAX, if only because director Neil Marshall's combat-heavy episode has the "action, storyline and epic nature" qualities trifecta that Foster referenced with his statement. Season 4's finale, "The Children", has a similarly large scope at times and would make sense as the episode to include alongside "Watchers", but it remains to be seen if that is, in fact, what HBO and IMAX have planned for this event.
Game of Thrones boasts some of the best (if not the best) production values of any TV show that's currently on the air, in term of its rich costume design, art direction, sets, and natural landscape backdrops. The series would be worth checking out in IMAX for those reasons alone; and if nothing else, this is a effective way for HBO to get fans all the more excited for the series' return later this year.
Game of Thrones season 5 premieres in 2015. This interested will be able to log onto IMAX.com and get tickets (as well as screening times and locations) for the Thrones IMAX event over the next few days, before screenings begin on January 30th, 2015.