Matt Shakman Says He Owes His Career To The 'Always Sunny' Guys Which Lead To 'Game Of Thrones'

In an upcoming episode of The Discourse Podcast (part of The Playlist’s Podcast Network), director Matt Shakman sat down with host Mike DeAngelo to talk about the upcoming series, “Monarch: Legacy Of Monsters,” which Shakman executive produces and directs the first two episodes. But Shakman also touched on other topics, like his upcoming “Fantastic Four” film over at Marvel and how he got some lucky breaks in his career. One of those unforeseen events? How working on “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” led to him becoming a director on HBO‘s “Game Of Thrones.”

READ MORE: ‘Fantastic Four’: Matt Shakman Says Marvel’s Recent Problems Haven’t Affected His Film & Talks “Responsibility” Of Getting The “First Family” Right

As Shakman tells it, if it weren’t for the long-running FX series, he would never have had the opportunity to work on the wildly popular HBO drama. “I owe it to those guys that I’m where I am now,” he explained. “I mean, it was a huge opportunity and a great joy to work on that show. But it was literally because David Benioff had a little cameo on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” on that episode that we shot at Raging Waters. And he happened to show up there on a day I think that he had just lost a director on “Game of Thrones.” And I had known him from a while back, working on a different project. But it was because, you know, he was down there that day, and he needed a director, and Rob McElhenney is like, ‘You should hire Matt!’ And David like, ‘I should. Yeah.’ And so anyway, that’s how I ended up on “Game of Thrones,” which changed my life because it was a scale that I had never worked at.”

Working on “Game Of Thrones” was Shakman’s biggest directing gig to date. “Before, I mean, I’d done some visual effects,” he continued. “I’d done some stunts, but I’d never done anything consistently that big. That show did sort of everything at eleven. So that opened up a lot of opportunities, certainly in Marvel and “Star Trek [4],” things like that. That wouldn’t have happened if it hadn’t been for “Sunny” and “Game of Thrones.” So I thank everybody for that.”

Since ‘Game Of Thrones,” Shakman has worked on similar large-scale projects: “Monarch: Legacy of Monsters” development on “Star Trek 4” before leaving that project to helm “Fantastic Four” at Marvel Studios. It is strange how a chance opportunity may dramatically shift one’s entire career trajectory. Before “Game Of Thrones,” Shakman was a TV journeyman with only one film directing credit, 2014’s low-budget thriller “Cut Bank.” In comparison, the scope of “Fantastic Four” is absolutely massive and quite the shift.

The Discourse Podcast’s episode with Matt Shakman will premiere soon.