And appearing at a panel for Amazon’s new sci-fi anthology series, Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, at New York Comic Con, Cunningham gave us an idea of the production schedule for Game of Thrones‘ final season.
That means, depending on your definition of “summer,” the final season could be filming for nine or ten months, despite only having six episodes to wrap everything up.
Luckily, Cunningham also seemed to confirm that the Season 8 episodes will be far longer since the shooting schedule has also stretched: “When you think about it, up until last season we’d have six months to do ten episodes, so we’re [doing] way more than that for six episodes. So that obviously will translate into longer episodes,” he told TV Guide.
At a few seconds short of 80 minutes, the Season 7 finale was the longest Game of Thrones episode ever. Anything beyond 90 minutes is highly unlikely since the principal actors’ contracts kick in huge pro-rated overtime pay at that point. But a string of 80-90 minute episodes certainly seems possible.
As an example, filming on Season 7 ended in February 2017 and the show didn’t premiere until July; previous seasons usually finished filming in December for an April debut. Depending on how elaborate the visual effects are — and we have every reason to believe this season will be the most complex yet since the episode budgets are rumored to be around $15 million per installment — the post-production window could also extend.