More 'Game Of Thrones' Spinoffs Could Be On The Way, According To The HBO Programming President
Start thanking the old gods and the new right now, because more Game of Thrones spinoffs could be on the way, as reported by Deadline. During an interview at the Winter TCA press tour, HBO programming president Casey Bloys didn't rule out the possibility of telling more stories set in the world of Westeros (and beyond) in the future. Currently, HBO has one spinoff pilot led by Naomi Watts set to go into production this summer, and while the premium channel isn't rushing anymore Game of Thrones spinoffs, Bloys made it clear that HBO is keeping its options open.
The programming president told Deadline, "It's an incredibly rich world that George [R.R. Martin] has created. So, I think we'd be crazy not to take a shot, but it's not going to be the sole focus of our programming efforts." Balance appears to be the key priority for HBO moving forward. Bloys doesn't want the channel to be dependent on having a Game of Thrones property to succeed. And he made it clear that if any of the spinoffs go forward, it will be because they're creatively viable, not simply because viewers want more of the Seven Kingdoms.
At this point, even the Watts spinoff — which is a prequel set during the Age of Heroes, according to HBO — isn't a done deal. "All I'm telling you now is that we are shooting the pilot in early summer, so I would not even hazard a guess as to when it would end up on air," Bloys said to Deadline.
For now, HBO's untitled spinoff from writer Jane Goldman is the channel's first priority in terms of keeping the franchise going after Game of Thrones Season 8 ends. Recently, the pilot found its director, SJ Clarkson (Succession, Orange Is the New Black), and rounded out its cast with a group of largely unknown actors including Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Sheila Atim. Not much else is known about the pilot, aside from what HBO's vague (but intriguing) press release teased.
"Taking place thousands of years before the events of 'Game of Thrones,' the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros' history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know."
Prior to greenlighting Goldman's script, HBO reportedly had five scripts in contention. In June 2018, Martin, the writer of the A Song of Ice and Fire book series on which Game of Thrones is based, revealed that one of those projects has been officially shelved. Fans also know that Goldman's script is officially going to pilot, so that leaves three scripts that could still potentially be in play at some point in the future. Or HBO could commission new ideas entirely — Martin's world is certainly expansive enough to generate more options.
For his part, Martin seemed optimistic that there could be Game of Thrones inspired series on HBO for years to come. "Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come," he wrote on his blog. "We do have an entire world and tens of thousands of years of history to play with, after all."
Right now, HBO's priorities appear to be giving Game of Thrones the sendoff it deserves, nurturing Goldman's pilot, and working on non-Game of Thrones projects to make sure HBO doesn't become overly reliant on a single franchise. In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bloys explained, "No other plans to pick up anything else until we get that one going and then we'll think about if there's any other one that we want to make. We really just want to get this one going, get it off to pilot and then we'll think about other options."
That's not a definitive yes, but it certainly sounds like the world of Game of Thrones could continue to expand for years to come.