HBO Unlikely To Develop All Four (Five?) Game Of Thrones Prequel Series


There aren’t many works of fiction that can compare to the rich, sprawling nature of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, but A Song of Ice and Fire comes pretty close.

Since its inception in ’96, when George R.R. Martin’s saga began with Game of Thrones, the series has gone on to inspire what is perhaps one of the biggest and most profitable TV shows in recent memory. But all good things must come to an end…or do they?

HBO is currently bracing for the seventh, penultimate season of Game of Thrones – July 16th is the date for your diaries – though we understand that the network is already in the process of future-proofing its fantasy epic. And so, beyond season 8, HBO will turn its attention to a Game of Thrones prequel series, after accepting spec scripts from the likes of Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Brian Helgeland (Legend) and Carly Wray (The Leftovers).

On paper, it makes for an exciting roster of writing talent, and we know George R.R. Martin is overseeing the development of each prequel series – The Hollywood Reporter notes that the franchise mastermind is actively co-writing at least two. They’re not spinoffs, per se, and at least according to Casey Bloys, president of programming at HBO, it’s unlikely that all four (five?) series will receive the green light.

You know the odds in development. I think that is probably unlikely. I was at Touchstone during Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. They had a hit show and they aired four in a week. This show is very special. I’m not looking to have as many as possible. My sense right now is we would be very lucky if one of the four rises to the level that we have set. Now, theoretically, what if they’re all great? That’s a high-class problem that I’ll solve when it comes to that. But knowing what we know about the development process, that’s why we wanted to increase our odds. But I do not see a scenario where we have more than one. But again, high-class problem.

When asked about the possibility of launching a companion series a la Fear The Walking Dead, Bloys stressed that when it comes to Game of Thrones, it’s really a question of family and how each dynasty is tied together.

The whole world is connected to some extent family tree-wise, and the timelines are so vast that unless you jumped ahead tens or hundreds of years, I don’t see [the prequels connecting] happening. The other point I want to make about clamping down spin-off fever is if none of them work, remember, we are building up our drama slate: We have Westworld, which is our highest-rated freshman drama in history; Watchmen, which we’re very hopeful that Damon Lindelof is excited about working on that; we’ve got Lovecraft Country; Alan Ball’s show; we’ve got David Simon’s new show. So it would be nice to have a Game of Thrones property, but the fate of the network does not hang in the balance.

Game of Thrones returns with its seventh, penultimate season on July 16th. From there, HBO will begin plotting its eighth and final outing, which may well include feature-length episodes.

Source: THR