Thanks to Blue Rose, we’ve a fasicnating account of some details surrounding the HBO pilot. Chief among them are the leaks concerning actors cast in roles, which appear to largely have been against HBO’s wishes, as well as some thoughts on the prospects of the series, the effect HBO’s going forward might have on book sales, and the difficulty of casting so many series regulars for a pilot episode for a series where characters might go a whole season unused.
When asked about whether or not Daenerys has been cast, GRRM said that they’ve got it down to three possibilities, each with strengths and weaknesses. He pointed out that it’s all very well to describe Daenerys as “the most beautiful woman in the world” but it does make it quite difficult to cast her.
Thanks to Sophelia for reporting that!
Hot off of George R.R. Martin’s reading and Q&A session at Worldcon, we learn that besides confirming that Jaime Lannister has been cast, GRRM has also said that Theon Greyjoy has been cast. However, as before, GRRM could provide no more information, as it’s up to HBO to release full details.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss dropped by the A Song of Ice and Fire forum to tease the fact that in the last week five roles have been cast; Jaime Lannister must be one of the five, by the sounds of it, and perhaps Daenerys Targaryen as well despite conflicting information on that. However, they add that they have no say as to when information will be released; all they can say with certainty is that it will be soon. Obviously, it’ll be up to HBO to decide when to release this information.
Word just arrived that Theon Greyjoy has also been cast, as we’ve reported here.
On the heels of our report of Daenerys Targaryen being cast, at the Worldcon in Montreal GRRM has privately told fans that Jaime Lannister has also been cast. However, he would not divulge the name of the actor selected for the role.
Thanks to Adam Whitehead who pointed this one out, the actress Natalie Victoria was informed that there were no more auditions for the role of Daenerys Targaryen because HBO has already filled the role. She adds that she was told HBO would not announce the actress who landed the role for a “few weeks”.
It should be noted that GRRM has stated that the role being cast would be news to him. This leaves several possibilities, such as an actress currently being negotiated with to take the part leading to the suspension of auditions for the time being, or that Ms. Victoria was misinformed.
The Hollywood Reporter reports (and GRRM now confirms) that BAFTA and Tony Award-winning British actress Jennifer Ehle (perhaps best known for her role as Elizabeth Bennet in the BBC’s acclaimed Pride and Prejudice) has been cast as Catelyn Stark. GRRM notes that there’s even more news that THR has not scooped him on as of yet, however, so it seems probable more roles have been cast but not yet announced.
George R. R. Martin teases that he has some cool information concerning the HBO pilot which he can’t divulge, but he might possibly drop some hints at Worldcon. It’s probable that this news is further casting confirmations. A number of significant roles remain to be filled—Catelyn Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, the Lannister twins—and it seems likely that some or all of these may now be locked down.
Although Game of Thrones is not directly mentioned, The Hollywood Reporter has notes from HBO’s most recent press tour that concern its current success and the outlook for future development. HBO’s development pipeline is described as “full” and that it will give HBO some “tough choices in coming months”. Some shows discussed as possible competitors to Game of Thrones—Treme and Boardwalk Empire—are both either greenlit or very likely to be greenlit at this stage, however, and so don’t fall into the “tough choices” category.
The good news is that HBO’s current offerings have been very successful, especially the vampire series True Blood which has pulled down the best ratings the cable network has had since The Sopranos. HBO says that while they don’t have more money for developing shows in the past, they still have “enviable” amounts to be able to produce what they feel like producing. Giving that their budgets in the past have stretched to cover expensive shows such as Band of Brothers, Rome, and the yet-to-air The Pacific, this is certainly positive news regarding whether HBO has the wherewithal to afford a show like Game of Thrones.