HBO programming president Casey Bloys has opened up regarding the recently announced four spinoffs of Game of Thrones that are in development, as well as the level of involvement from author George R.R. Martin and series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, plus when fans can expect to see the next series set in the fantasy world created by Martin.
With the hit fantasy series coming to a close after the eighth season, the premium cable channel is looking to capitalize on their success and expand upon the series developed by Benioff and Weiss. But the first and foremost important thing for the network is to finish out the current series.
Bloys recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly in an effort to clarify several things, including that not all four spinoffs are guaranteed to happen at this point telling the outlet:
“I want to put the prequels in context… I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process. I haven’t even seen outlines. In the press at large, everybody said, ‘there are four spinoffs’ and they assume that means each one is happening and we’re going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That’s not what’s going on. The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [Benioff and Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it. Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired.”
The programming president went on to stress how important it is to find a show that can live up to the series created by Benioff and Weiss:
“If you only developed one, everything would rest on that one shot. It’s such a special show. I want to make sure that [any prequel] feels worthy. We have some amazing writers who want to take a shot at this. They’re also looking at different times in the universe and all will have different feels. This increases our odds of finding one that’s unique.”
The four writers developing the projects that Bloys refers to are Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Golden Circle), Brian Helgeland (Legend), and Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers). Weiss and David Benioff, as well as Martin, are attached to all four projects but Martin will not actually write on any of them and in Bloys chat with EW, he explained that HBO was hoping to have the names of Benioff and Weiss on the spinoffs out of a sign of respect, however, they will not be involved in the development at least until the current series is finished:
“In conversations with them, they feel if their name is on the prequels — even in a passive way — it conveys some sort of expectation or responsibility. They want to enjoy the show as fans and don’t want to worry about the scripts or production issues. We were hoping to have their names on it out of respect for them, but we understand why they don’t want that.”
As for Martin’s involvement, Bloys explained that “it varies project by project” and that each of the writers “have to decide how they operate with George” but assured that Martin will be weighing in on all of the scripts. Bloys was also asked whether or not the premium cable channel was considering one or more of the spinoffs as a limited series rather than a regular series to which he revealed that anything is possible at this point:
“At this point, everything is on the table. The idea is to find a series. It would be nice to find something that has the legs this one did. But if something works better as a limited series, sure.”
But don’t expect to see a prequel series launch anytime soon. In addition to telling the outlet that fans will not see a situation where “the next show in the Thrones universe launches off the back of” the current series, Bloys bolstered that by reiterating the channel’s focus on finishing season 8 and that nothing will premiere anywhere near the series finale of Game of Thrones:
“I want to temper the expectation on the prequels. We want to focus on season 7 and 8. If any of these scripts come to pass, you’re not going to see anything air anytime close to the season 8 finale.”
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres July 16, 2017. You can watch the trailer here.
5 ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Ideas
Game of Thrones fans have a long wait until we finally see Daenerys Targaryen finish her journey across the narrow sea and step foot on Westeros. Her army of Unsullied will soon come into contact with the new King of the North, Jon Snow and the wicked Queen Cersei Lannister. Season 7, debuting this summer, might be one of the most action packed yet, but that doesn’t mean the upcoming war will be as intense as other confrontations George R.R. Martin has littered the Westrosi past with.
HBO needs another big moneymaker after Game of Thrones finally ends, and I don’t think they need to look too hard for an appropriate replacement. Casey Bloys, the President of Programming at HBO, has mentioned the possibility of a GOT spin-off, but I think a prequel series might work better.
Before all you die-hard Star Wars fans get mad at me for even thinking such a thing, remember, not all prequels are bad! The Notorious GRRM has already established a complex past that goes back centuries, giving HBO a lot of exciting material to choose from. I don’t think any of these series should last more than three or four seasons each – to ensure the stories don’t drag on- but hey, HBO can still make money from a limited series so it’s a possibility.
Buckle up and hit the Next button to find out what stories about Westeros’ past should hit the silver screen.