In its latest issue, Entertainment Weekly makes a mention of HBO’s proposed Game of Thrones series in a column by Lynette Rice. The article’s not up on the web, but the relevant excerpt has been provided by sharp-eyed reader AboutYeaHigh:
“... Meanwhile, HBO—which, like EW, is owned by Time Warner—is generating heat for a pilot it hasn’t even picked up yet: the network’s adaptation of the fantasy book A Game of Thrones, starring Sean Bean and Lena Headey. Filmed entirely on location in Ireland and Morocco, Thrones supposedly boasts a budget that rivals that of the famously lavish Rome, but HBO co-chairman Michael Lombardo is quick to point out that all the network’s shows have to meet high expectations—especially in light of stiff competition from the likes of Showtime and USA. “We are taking shots at shows that we wouldn’t have taken a shot at five years ago,” says Lombardo, who, with co-chairman Richard Plelper and entertainment president Sue Naegle, has developed an unprecedented number of pilots. “We opened our arms and invited people to come in and pitch things even if they didn’t think it was HBO. We stopped second-guessing ourselves.”
The suggestion that the budget rivals that of Rome—infamous for costing $100 million for its first season—is, suffice it to say, rather remarkable. It’s presented as a rumor, but for the most part expectations have been somewhat more down to earth. Could these rumors be true? It’ll be interesting to see what develops over time. More sobering, however, is the reminder that the series still has hurdles to pass—including a fairly full development slate at HBO which will leave executives making hard decisions about what to go forward with. The silver lining? Last we heard, insiders said that HBO was fairly sure to order a season, provided the executive producers Benioff and Weiss avoided any major missteps in producing the pilot.