The Game is afoot!
HBO’s Game of Thrones has officially started production on season 7, sources confirm.
Shooting for the penultimate season has begun in the show’s production hub of Northern Ireland (in fact, filming quietly got underway on Tuesday). Additional locations for the seventh season include a return to Spain and Iceland. Usually Thrones stars production in July, but this season’s production launch was pushed back to the end of August.
The surviving characters from season 6 are expected to return along with one new face — Oscar winner and veteran actor Jim Broadbent (the Harry Potter franchise, Moulin Rouge), who EW first reported on Wednesday has been cast in a “significant” season 7 role. There are some new minor roles that are to be filled, as well.
Thrones is shooting seven episodes for its seventh season, a reduction from the show’s usual 10 hours. Directors on board include returning filmmakers Alan Taylor and Jeremy Podeswa. The show is expected to debut later than usual despite its reduced order, returning sometime next summer. The calendar shift also puts season 7 out of the running for the Emmys for 2017, but the series is up for a whopping 23 primetime honors next month.