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David Benioff Interview

Another Game of Thrones interview piece from Access Hollywood, although this one is written rather than videoed. These remarks from executive producer and writer David Benioff comes from the roundtable with journalists which we expect to hear more from shortly. In the piece, Benioff is quoted discussing the maturity of the subject matter:

“Here, because we have 10 hours to tell the story, we’re able to include all the major characters… and we’re able to do it the way George does it in the books in terms of the darkness of it and the violence of it and the sexuality of it, which a major studio would never let you do, even if you’re lucky enough to get an R rating. This is beyond ‘R.’”

An interesting statement, that. Would a faithful adaptation of the first novel really merit an NC-17 rating (“beyond ‘R’”)? We suspect not. Now, come later seasons and some of the matter there, if shown, well, yes. But for the most part, the reality is that the show really is fairly comfortably in the ‘R’ area, if we’re transposing movie rating systems onto an unrated TV show. Then again… Benioff may be on to something. After all, the National Film Critics Society recently expressed concerns about recent ratings decisions by the MPAA (including an R-rating for The King’s Speech for language). Perhaps in this climate, Game of Thrones really would be viewed as “beyond ‘R’”.

One other thing Benioff says that’s quite heartening is that:

“This is a fantasy series and we never want to run away from that fact or hide that fact. We love that, but the idea that most of the people in this world are very cynical about the supernatural makes it fun because it makes it more relatable”

This is much as I heard back in October, when I had an opportunity to talk with David and sit in on a group interview. They’re embracing the possibilities of it being a fantasy series with a high level of depicted realism, so their aim is to make everything you see—even the fantastical parts—seem as realistic as possible, within the constraints of time and budget.

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