James Hibberd at EW has an intersting interview with Casey Bloys, HBO’s President of Programming, regarding the final seasons of Game of Thrones, the potential successor shows, and the involvement (or lack of same) of David Benioff and Dan Weiss in those last. Definitely read the full article, but below are a couple of choice quotes:
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.
As GRRM and others cautioned, this isn’t the case where HBO will definitely produce all the shows they’re developing (and since this interview with Hibberd, GRRM revealed a possible fifth pilot was being developed). The focus is on developing the best possible show.
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.
This is rather interesting, this idea that Benioff and Weiss don’t want their names on a successor show because they’d feel it’d suggest some responsibility. What’s clear is that regardless of whether their names appear in the credits or not, they are absolutely uninterested in being involved at any real level with a successor show. We’re going to guess that there are those who’ll be heartend by this, and those who’ll be concerned.
The writers each have to decide how they operate with George. Some like to collaborate, some look at the source material and do their own thing. There’s no one way, but in all cases, George will be reading the scripts and weighing in.
This underscores that the writers are considering developing stories from things that fans will have read about in The World of Ice and Fire, “The Princess and the Queen”, “The Rogue Prince”, and so on. Which is much as GRRM has hinted, as some of the ideas may well be exploring the lands of Essos and beyond.