Next month, when the world will be watching the final season of Game of Thrones – one of the most anticipated TV events ever – one of the show's stars will be right here in Greater Sudbury.
Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays the very complicated character Jaime Lannister on the fantasy series, is coming North in April to film The Silencing.
Based on a screenplay by U.S. writer Micah Ranum, The Silencing tells the story of a reformed hunter (Coster-Waldau) who now runs a wildlife sanctuary. He's enlisted by a local sheriff to help track down a vicious killer who may have kidnapped his daughter several years ago.
Ranum's script, then called A Good Hunter, won him a $30,000 prize from the Don and Gee Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the people who run the Oscars). Susannah Grant, a 1992 winner, earned an Oscar nomination in 2000 for her film Erin Brockovich.
The film was supposed to be shot in Europe, but a location change last month moved the production to Sudbury.
Co-starring in The Silencing is British actress Annabelle Wallis, who appeared in Tom Cruise's 2017 film The Mummy, the British TV series Peaky Blinders and, more recently, as the voice of Nora, the onboard computer in an episode of Star Trek: Short Treks, a series of short films featuring characters from Star Trek: Discovery.
The director is Robin Pront, who helmed the 2016 Belgian Oscar submission, The Ardennes. Cybill Lui of Anova Pictures is producing, Canadian-based Wilding Pictures’ Matt Code is co-producing, and XYZ Films is executive producing.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones debuts April 14, around the time Coster-Waldau will be in Greater Sudbury for his next film role. His GoT character of Jaime Lannister is unique considering he's become a fan favourite despite his often terrible behaviour. He's considered a good guy even though (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn't seen the show) he has sired three children with his sister (Cersei), pushed a child (Bran) out of a castle window to cover up the relationship and sided with the evil Bolton and Frey families, who go on to commit several atrocities against the show's main protagonists, the Stark family.
When viewers last saw him, he had apparently decided to abandon the increasingly evil Cersei, leaving the warm south to head North to fight the Knight's King and his evil army of the undead – including, after last season's events, a reanimated dragon.
The final season, which includes six often movie-length episodes, is based on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series of books. While Martin has yet to complete the series, GoT writers based the finale on an outline Martin provided of his vision for how the books will end.