Game of Thrones season two directors revealed

Along with some new casting news, we also are getting some info on who will be behind the camera for season two of Game of Thrones. The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on the director line-up for this season.

The Descent writer-director Neil Marshall will direct an episode during Season 2 of HBO’s epic period drama. The episode will mark his TV directing debut.

Marshall, whose credits include features Doomsday and Centurion, joins Alan Taylor, Alik Sakharov, David Petrarca and David Nutter as directors for the upcoming season.

Winter Is Coming: Not surprised to see the HBO vets, David Nutter and David Petrarca, in there. A bit surprised that Sakharov will be moving from cinematographer to director for season two. Will he still work as cinematographer as well, I wonder? I’lll have to look back now and see what episodes he worked on for season one and how well they were shot. As for Marshall, his credits aren’t blowing me away or anything, but I guess it is cool to get a Hollywood feature film director in there.

UPDATE: George R. R. Martin has a blog post reacting to the Neil Marshall news, apparently he’s a big fan, and he confirms that Marshall will be directing his episode, “Blackwater.” Yeah, he’s pretty stoked.


  • Interesting, I wonder if this means we will get some battle scenes because that is probably the best part of Neil Marshalls movies.

  • The Descent is fanTAStic. One of the best horror movies of the last ten years in my opinion. Dog Soldiers is also a lot of fun. I am very excited.

  • I am about as far from a horror movie fan as one could be, which is why I had never heard of Neil Marshall before or seen any of his movies. If you guys say he is good, than I trust you.

    So I’m betting he will be directing the House of the Undying episode?

  • Marshall should fit well. Be really sweet if he’s doing “Blackwater.”

    So awesome to see another feature film director making the move to TV. Cable Television is kicking the ass of Hollywood features so hard right now.

  • The Descent creeped the hell out of me. That was a fantastic horror film which could easily fool a person into thinking it was an indy drama about grief and friendship at first. I wasn’t fond of “Doomsday,” and I haven’t seen his other work. I’ve always loved David Nutter since his X-Files days. He directed some of the best episodes.

  • Kennef, not really. But I strongly dislike horror movies, especially gory ones. I watch movies to be entertained or enlightened. Not to have the shit scared out of me.

  • Well, since Marshall is British and his movies were mostly financed by British film studios, the term “Hollywood director” doesn’t really fit here.

  • Seriously? Not blown away??? The Descent is an amazing film, especially the directing and cinemetography. Scared me and the husband shitless.

  • They might have Sakharov do an effects-laden episode like Blackwater because he’ll have the technical expertise to know how to plan all the effects shots. That’s my theory.

  • Must be just me. I always tought of House of Undying as a sight seeing trip. Considering all the memories of the past, present and future.
    Will be fun to see horror made out of it, scenes are more than appropriate.

  • I think the news of all these new directors validate the criticisms me and others had about various directors in Season 1.

    No more 4 person hunting party for a King!!! No more crass and robotic direction of a challenging scene that wasted a good self revelation of littlefinger. (Play with her ass!!! Loud and distracting moanings.) No more slurping sound from Knight of the Flowers. Regardless of how the scripts are written, it is a director’s job to spend the time to envision and capture the right kind of acting and atmosphere for all the scenes, not to do a pedestrian’s job on secondary scenes which rounded up embarrassed and degraded this wonderful production.

  • Winter Is Coming: vie fan as one could be, which is why I had never heard of Neil Marshall before or seen any of his movies. If you guys say he is good, than I trust you.

    So I’m betting he will be directing the House of the Undying episode?

    That would be tremendous, though as other commenters have pointed out, he’s more than proficient with action and would be a fine choice for a more battle-centric episode as well. His horror is more physical than hallucinatory.

  • I like this director list a lot. Taylor and Marshall are both excellent directors, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sakharov turns out to be as well (he was the DP for the first two and the last two episodes of season 1, which visually were the best of the season IMO). He also has six directing credits and won the 2007 cinematography Emmy for Rome, so I think he’s earned it.

    Meanwhile, HBO’s stable of Davids just seems to get larger and larger.

  • I, personally, am excited to see what Neil Marshall can do on a show like “Game Of Thrones”! I really liked “Centurion”…Marshall’s direction was great as was the job done by Michael Fassbender! Plus we also have Liam Cunningham in that movie! Enough said…

    Is Jeremy Podeswa still part of the directors for Season Two? I really want him working on this show, he is awesome!

    Anybody has any info on that?

  • The Descent was so good. I usually don’t go for modern horror, they’ve become torture flicks lately. I don’t mind a bit of gore but modern horror seems to let that be its primary focus, and it’s boring. The Descent was scary as hell, and featured characters that were interesting. I’ve heard only good things about Dog Soldiers, too. So I am thrilled to hear Marshall will lend his talents to our show. I wonder which episode they’ll give him…

  • Neil Marshall is perfect for a Thrones episode! I could see him directing a Theon at Winterfell horror movie type episode. Of course that might require a Jojen and Meera for Season Two, which sadly enough doesn’t seem to be happening (though I’m still hoping against hope).

  • Matthew: This is good news, because all of Neil Marshals movies are relatively low budget so hopefully he can work in some good stuff for the battle.

    I like that thought! I still think past season they could have captured Whispering Woods in a few moody, very-low-cost scenes, if D&D and the director had wanted to. Hopefully Marshall can take GRRM’s script and make more of it than D&D deem possible.

  • Hell yes, Blackwater for Marshall. Great choice as he knows how to bring in a a great looking spectacle on a budget. Hopefully we can attract more big name directors for Season 3.

    Am I the only one that thinks Mel Gibson would be awesome?! I know he’s a crazy racist lunatic, but it’s hard to deny Apocalypto and Braveheart. Never gonna happen though.

  • Brad Villane: Am I the only one that thinks Mel Gibson would be awesome?!

    And while we’re at it, why not get Charlie Sheen and The Hoff as well? :-)

    Seriously though, let Nina Gold do what she does best, i.e. finding great talent that is (still) affordable, so that the rest of the budget can be put to better use than just getting a big name.

  • Tar Kidho: ght of House of Undying as a sight seeing trip. Considering all the memories of the past, present and future.
    Will be fun to see horror made out of it, scenes are more than appropri

    Brad was putting forward Mel as director, not actor, it looks like. That’s not Nina, that’s… D&D? Faceless HBO suit? Although in any case, you’re probably right about the budget thing. Mel would charge a lot for his services as a director. And I’m not sure he’d be too interested in working on GoT. When you’re Mel Gibson, you work on your own passion projects.

  • James,

    On the contrary, all the three examples I cited had a lot to do with directing. Even though TV directors have a lot less power compared to film directors, they are still largely responsible for the visualization of the script, accept or reject a particular performance, and the detail planning of a particular shoot.

    One can easily cut off the slurping sound of Loras. I doubt that D&D would overwrite a forceful objection of a director on this matter. Or it could be handled differently like the Tyrion gulping of beer in his introduction. Likewise, a director on the scene could find that the line “Play with her ass!” too crass and forceful or the moaning too loud and raucous. Compared that to the Rebecca McKay sexposition whereby most of the time her breast were covered by her long hair. There are reasons why there are shooting scripts because things changed all the time in an actual performance.

    Even though the budget was tight and time was limited, the 4 person hunting party scene was almost inexcusable. The staging looked like a high school play or a Days of Our Lives small studio shoot. A merely inclusion 4 to 6 extras in the hunting party that moved forward to scout for the boar could eliminate much of the ridiculousness of the situation. It was a total failure of seeing the bigger picture on the director’s part.

  • It’s cool to see that GRRM is so stoked on this.

    I remember reading positive reviews of The Descent when it first came out. I almost considered seeing it, despite not being a fan of horror movies. I think I’ll definitely check out Descent and Centurion in the near future.

  • While The Descent is a brilliant horror flick, the book of the same name by Jeff Long (which has nothing to do with the movie except the setting) is great as well. Maybe some of you need something to fill the void till WoW.

  • The moment I saw Marshall’s name and read about the kind of movies he directed, I just knew he would do the Blackwater ep! That is so exciting! Can’t wait to see how that one will come out!

  • Joy McDonald,

    A hurricane?! In Northern Ireland? Never heard of hurricanes in that part of the world. Hope the person who was taken to hospital is ok and that filming resumes soon in better conditions.

  • Chris Kaiser,

    GRRM says in his “Not a Blog” that actually it’s Marshall who will be directing the Battle of Blackwater. He sounds very excited about the prospect which is all good!

  • I’m happy to see that David Nutter is going to be a director on the show. He has a reputation of being a great pilot episode director.

  • Yay! I’m really excited. Unlike most I didn’t think The Descent was quite as good as the hype surrounding it suggested, but I may just need to watch it again. I think I was expecting something more original than it could deliver. It was still far above the crap that generally gets called horror these days though.
    Still, I’m really excited about both directors, who bring a lot experience and personal vision to the table.
    Millenium (which Nutter apparently directed the pilot for) was a mediocre show, but the pilot episode blew me away. I was very impressed by his work on that.

  • What? No one is commenting on Ser Gregor being recast? I, for one, am hoping it turns out not to be true!

  • Good news about Mr Marshall. Looking forward to seeing what he can do with some really well written material. I’ve seen 3 of his movies and fun though they were for me they lacked killer scripts.

  • excellent the descent was an amazing edge of your seat movie so can’t wait for this episode.

    I’m lucky enough to live in Northern Ireland and have seen quite a few sets for season 2 already :)

  • Haven’t read any of the comments but I just wanted to say I am really happy to hear about Neil Marshall being involved. I wasn’t personally as in love with The Descent as basically every other horror fan alive but I recognize why people would love it. I am however a MASSIVE fan of his film Dog Soldiers. It is IMHO if not the BEST werewolf movie ever it is EASILY in the top three. He also directed Centurion and Doomsday. Both of those films weren’t as evenly good as the first two I mentioned they did have a lot of really good parts and ideas. He is a very visceral director who isn’t afraid of blood and guts. I think he will be amazing directing Martin’s episode.

  • I am really thrilled that Marshall is directing the Blackwater episode. He’s really good handling action scenes on a budget. The weakest aspect of his films are the scripts, so I am excited to see what he’ll bring to the table having George’s script to work with.

  • Neil Marshall getting Blackwater really is great news – one of my favorite directors. If you don’t know who he is before Blackwater you will after…

  • Off-topic but yesterday Mel (Carice van Houten) was a guest in the most popular dutch talkshow De Wereld Draait Door (DWDD, the world keeps turning) She was there to announce a Norwegian singer but the conversation started with Matthijs (presenter) and Carice discussing what she had been up to lately so they talked Thrones for like 30 seconds. Hopefully the link works for all of you (its in dutch… and it may be blocked abroad but ok)

    Most interesting part is that she says she signed on for 5 years.

    The complete interview:

    Matthijs: we are going to discuss more upandcoming singers onece a month as long as your schedule permit cause you are pretty bussy right? You just returned from Ireland?

    Carice: Ireland yeah.

    Matthijs: what’s the name of the… Game of Thrones?
    Carice: Game of Thrones yeah

    Matthijs: Fantasy?! (hmm don’t like that question)

    Carice: Fantasy (bodylanguage its not quite fantasy) Middle ages. It’s based on a big series of books (alas doesnt mention the name) … It’s a little bit like Lord of the Rings (ofcourse well known and accepted in Holland no one has heard of GOT yet…)

    Matthijs: And in America this is THE most popular series at the moment?

    Carice: yeah, apparently so.

    Matthijs: HBO… and in season 2 you are allowed in.

    Carice: Yeah i signed on for a number of years so i might still be there when i am 41.

    Matthijs: You serious? How many season did you sign up for?

    Carice: (thinks) 5 i believe. Ofcourse thinks could happen. They might quit earlier or they somehow have to end that woman (her character)
    I mean loads of things could go wrong
    But normally speaking i will be around for quite a while messing things up over there.

    And then they start talking about music.

  • I’m really excited to see what Neil Marshall can do with that episode. Given the fact that his movies don’t have large budgets, and he still manages to keep the epic feeling and sense of scale with the resources he has at hand, I’m sure he will be a perfect fit for “Game Of Thrones” and the episode he has do direct…”Blackwater”!

    His quite graphic but effective depiction of violence is on par with what is visually required on “Game Of Thrones”. The scene in “Centurion” where the Ninth Legion is attacked by the Picts and whipped out is definitedly an indication that he can handle battle scenes, and I definitely see HBO being able to budget something of that scale, hopefully even a bit larger, for “Game Of Thrones”. I must also say that I found the cinematography on “Centurion” to be very beautiful and exceptionally well done given the budgetary limitations.

    I’m looking forward to his work, besides this time he will be working of off a script penned by the man himself, George RR Martin, and I get the feeling that George will be quite pleased with Marshall’s vision.

    Keep my fingers crossed!

    PS I’m still asking whether or not anybody has any further info on Jeremy Podeswa being one of the directors on Season Two. I read the posting on the site here confirming him as a director, but haven’t heard anything since.

  • loco73, apparently he is out. It was never confirmed by HBO that he was in, just reported on in a newspaper article. Not sure why he was saying he was going to direct an episode a few weeks back but now he is not. Possibly some scheduling conflict, I suppose.

  • Smart choice to have Marshall doing the Blackwater episode, he might not make amazing movies but he’ll be able to handle the battles and cgi aspects.

  • Marshall is one of the best genre directors. The Descent is an intense shocker with brains. Dog Soldiers highly original and fun. Centurion and especially Doomsday wheren’t exactly on this high level, but they showed perfectly that he knows how too make the best out of a modest budget. Centurion looked like a 30-40 Mio picture and only cost 12 mio.

    Too bad he couldn’t direct the season opener too. This is great news.

  • Kroket, WOW! Melisandre would be around quite some time and we can count that as a spoiler for tWoW and maybe aDoS… she at least survive the hell that must happen after… whatever happens to Jon on last aDwD chapter @_@!

  • I haven’t seen Centurion yet but Dog Soldiers and The Descent were great, I consider them good enough to lay in my movie collection.

    Also Annathema, not necessarily. Do the math and you’ll see that isn’t the case.

  • Just watched Centurion on Netflix streaming. It’s good, not great like the Descent. But it does show that he knows how to do battles well. And added bonus, you get to really see what Davos Seaworth may be like because Liam Cunningham plays a significant role in the movie.

  • I never attribute my liking of a movie solely to the director’s skill. Regardless, I really love “The Descent”, and am excited to see its director participating in season 2 of GoT.

  • the descent was soldiers was fun but the audio commentry with pertwee,mckidd,cunningham and marshall was even for the rest,marshall knows how to use a budget.hope cunningham gets to do an commentry with marshall for ‘Blackwater’.i could listen to that man shoot the shit all day.

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