House of the Dragon co-showrunner Miguel Sapochnik leaves hit show – The Hollywood Reporter

There’s been a great upheaval inside Dragon House: The HBO Fantasy-drama co-showrunner and director Miguel Sapochnik is stepping down from the newly launched hit series.

Sources say Sapochnik is leaving the show after devoting three years of exhausting effort to the game of thrones prequel. Dragon co-creator Ryan Condal will be is now the show’s sole showrunner and continues to work closely with co-creator George RR Martin. Sapochnik has also reached an initial agreement with HBO to develop new projects and will remain executive producer for the duration of the series.

The production hired another acclaimed thrones veteran, Alan Taylor, to serve as executive producer and direct several season two episodes.

“Working within the thrones universe over the past few years has been an honor and a privilege, especially spending the past two with the incredible cast and crew of Dragon HouseSapochnik said in a statement. “I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved with Season 1 and thrilled with the enthusiastic response from our viewers. It was incredibly difficult deciding to move on, but I know it’s the right choice for me. , personally and professionally. In doing so, however, I take great comfort in knowing that Alan will be joining the show. He’s someone I’ve known and respected for a long time, and I don’t think this precious show could be in better hands. I’m so happy to continue to be a part of HBO and Dragon House family and of course I wish Ryan and his team success and all the best for Season 2 and beyond.

Taylor said, “It’s a pleasure and an honor to be back at HBO, immersing myself in the world of the Targaryens. I look forward to working closely with Ryan as Dragon House expands into its second season. Ryan, Miguel and George embarked on an extraordinary story, in a rich and fascinating universe. Coming back to Westeros will be a huge undertaking and I look forward to the challenge.

HBO added: “Miguel Sapochnik did an amazing job on the first season of Dragon House, establishing its signature look and feel. This series simply couldn’t have gone the way it did without him. While we would have liked Miguel to continue in the same role, we are excited to have his continued collaboration in this new creative capacity. Looking ahead, we have a decades-long relationship with Alan Taylor, and we’re thrilled to have him join Ryan and rest the talented team.

The movement comes on the heels of the Dragon series premiere – directed by Sapochnik – delivering 25 million viewers in its first week since release and helping mark the game of thrones prequel rapid renewal. Sunday’s second episode made the rare move of gain some more viewers instead of declining. Sapochnik also directs two additional hours (episodes six and seven) in the first season.

Taylor built her reputation for her work on HBO The Sopranos (for which he won an Emmy), Mad Men and Rome. On thrones, he helped shape the show’s directing style, directing the crucial and elegant final two episodes of the show’s first season (which included sequences depicting the death of Ned Stark and the birth of Daenerys’ dragons). Taylor eventually completed a total of seven thrones episodes, including “The North Remembers”, “The Night Lands”, and “Beyond the Wall”. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss once described his style as “cinematic and precise”.

Taylor also recently crossed out The Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newarkand then the driver for AMC Interview with the Vampire series.

Sapochnik started his career as a screenwriter in 1996 Trainspotting and he directed the 2010 film Repo Men and episodes of Fox’s Fringe and Accommodation. But it was on thrones that Sapochnik’s career went stratospheric after the English director helmed fan-favorite episodes such as “Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards,” and “The Winds of Winter.” After throneshe directed the science fiction film Tom Hanks Bullfinchwhich was released on Apple TV+.

Sapochnik worked for months to help develop Dragon with his friend Condal before boarding. Sapochnik had been very reluctant to officially join the project, a position that perhaps foreshadowed his current exit. “Miguel said:” I never do thrones Again,” Condal recalled.

“I went through a lot of hesitation,” admitted Sapochnik. “Ryan and I had a long-standing relationship and we work well together and really love each other – that was half the battle. As we got deeper into the talks I realized I had to shit or get off the pot.

Sapochnik finally decided to sign while attending – of all things – a game of thrones Experience a concert in Los Angeles with a writer and a colleague thrones veteran Bryan Cogman. “There were 17,000 people going crazy for this show and I didn’t realize how passionate people were still,” Saophnchik says. “[My wife] turned to me and said, ‘We are fucking idiots. How can we not do this? »

The Dragon The team is currently focused on finishing VFX plans for Season 1 and writing scripts for Season 2, which does not yet have an announced filming start date. As the first season took 10 months to shoot and over nine additional months of VFX work, the series is set to return in 2024.

Taylor is replaced by UTA and Circle of Confusion.

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