Page last updated at 14:45 GMT, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 15:45 UK

Sopranos crew in Titanic project

The Sopranos
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The American company behind hit shows such as Sex and the City and The Sopranos is to film a television pilot in Northern Ireland later this year.

First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness made the announcement after talks with HBO officials in California last month.

A Game of Thrones will be filmed in various locations including the Paint Hall studios at the Titanic Quarter.

Richard Williams from Northern Ireland Screen said it was an exciting project.

"HBO has been responsible for some of the most dynamic and successful TV series ever broadcast, and we are absolutely delighted to welcome the HBO team here," he said.

"This is a real coup for Northern Ireland and further cements our reputation as a leading centre for film and television production."

The pilot will based on the 1996 best selling book, A Game of Thrones. It is part of George R.R. Martin's fantasy series A Song of Fire and Ice and the intention is for each novel to fuel a season's worth of episodes.

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Mr Robinson said it was the first time a television production of such vast size and scale would film in Northern Ireland.

"HBO is a recognised worldwide brand, with their programmes broadcast in over 150 countries. Securing this project over a number of competitors is a major coup for Northern Ireland," he said.

Mr McGuinness added: "At a time of economic downturn, we have sought to bring a new and diverse range of investments here to create jobs and build experience. The creative industries are one key area."

Arts Minister Gregory Campbell said: "Northern Ireland Screen is to be congratulated for their role in attracting this project and further enhancing the type of productions that are now being developed here."

News of the latest venture comes after Universal Studios confirmed it would be making a mediaeval comedy feature film in Belfast this summer.

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