Game of Thrones is headed to theaters—along with the first trailer for season five.
HBO is releasing a Game of Thrones “movie” into IMAX theaters later this month comprised of the final two episodes of the show’s fourth season. The screening will also include an exclusive trailer for the upcoming season. Thrones will air in 150 IMAX theaters for one week beginning Jan. 23. According to IMAX, this will mark the first time a TV series has been showcased in the format.
That means last year’s action-filled Battle of Castle Black episode will get ultra-big-screen treatment, along with the season’s Emmy-nominated finale, “The Children.” For fans, the move represents a rare opportunity to see TV’s most lavishly produced series in a large-screen format. While for HBO, it gives the network’s most popular series of all time, with Thrones averaging 19 million viewers per episode last season, an unprecedented cinematic platform. The episodes will be digitally re-mastered to be compatible with the immersive IMAX format.
“The cinematic brilliance and grand scope of the series is perfect for the IMAX format,” said Pamela Levine, chief marketing officer at HBO. “We are always looking to provide fans with new and exciting ways to experience the show and viewing two key episodes, along with the new trailer, on such an impressive platform makes for a great event.”
So far HBO has only released extremely brief teases to promote the new season, almost entirely consisting of previous footage. Thrones is expected to return in April.
“We couldn’t think of a series more fitting than Game of Thrones to be the first presented in IMAX,” said Greg Foster, senior executive vice president, IMAX Corp. “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 [showrunners] 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.”
If it were up to some, this wouldn’t mark the last time Thrones was on the big screen. Author George R.R. Martin and others associated with the series once advocated to conclude the show’s planned seven-season production with an original feature film, but HBO has been disinterested in such a prospect since the company’s business model is focused on gaining subscribers with TV content.
There have also been reports of a season-five preview special that will air on HBO, possibly as soon as February. We’re told those details are still being worked out.