Speculation still surrounds what exactly is being filmed at Penrhyn Castle in Bangor. Filming is taking place from mid-September until mid-October as Penrhyn Castle and Garden will be transformed into a ‘Major Film Set’ for the first time.

American production company Home Box Office (HBO) arrived last week, set dressing some rooms of the castle. With filming starting this week the castle may be closed on certain days or have restricted access, with some areas of the property closing at short notice.

The National Trust have described the filming as “an amazing opportunity for Penrhyn Castle and Garden to play its part in an exciting and new experience, and to highlight our places and work to a worldwide audience. Another important benefit is that during the period of filming the local economy is getting a boost from the contribution made by the location crew.” but no information is being given to the exact nature of the filming.

Game of Thrones

It was widely speculated that the filming was for the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, which will premiere in 2019, filming for the series has taken place in Belfast and elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Canada, Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Spain, and the United States, but it has been well reported the last day of filming for everyone and everything on the show happened on Friday 6th July.

Watchmen

Although Penrhyn would be an ideal location for Game of Thrones, attention has now turned the TV show based on Watchmen comic book, which will be HBO’s first-ever superhero series and will be developed by writer Damon Lindelof, it’s set 30 years after the events of the comic, being called more of a “remix” than a straight adaptation.

Watchmen will be set in an alternate history where “superheroes” are treated as outlaws. HBO said the series will “embrace the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own.”

It has already been confirmed that HBO have recruited Jeremy Irons for a lead role in pilot and it can be no coincidence he was seen dining out at The Slate Restaurant in Tal y Bont earlier this week celebrating his 70th birthday.

The English born actor always turns in a memorable performance, and this isn’t his first superhero-related role. He has previously appeared as Batman’s loyal butler Alfred in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. Irons now joins a Watchmen cast that includes Regina King, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Adelaide Clemens and Andrew Howard.

Filming will continue at Penrhyn Castle until 8th October when the sets will be removed and rooms deep cleaned, Penrhyn Castle returns to normal opening from 13th October.

Jeremy Irons has a lead role in HBO’s Watchmen