Is A Song of Ice and Fire in development at someone not named HBO? Strangely, that may be the case from something we uncovered following yesterday’s post on some recent development updates.
This led us to some digging and and we discovered that Vince Gerardis’s new company Startling Inc. has an official website with a long, long list of various literary works that are in development at various studios, networks, and production companies. As an science fiction and fantasy fan, a lot of the titles are familiar—works by Robert Silverberg, David Eddings, Kim Stanley Robinsion, Larry Niven, Greg Bear, and more are all represented. But Three of these are of special interest to fans of George R.R. Martin: Wild Cards, Sandkings, and something titled A Song of Ice and Fire without HBO explicitly linked to it.
A fan-made ASoIaF logo from artist Ertaç Altınöz
Some recent piece of development news regarding George R.R. Martin has slipped out the last couple of days. First, GRRM and Kalinda Vazquez are set to develop Roger Zelazny’s novel Roadmark for HBO. A science fiction/fantasy blend, the basic concept is of a mysterious, endless road that travereses time, space, and alternate realities that travelers can use to explore and even try to change the past, present, and future.
Martin has posted about it at his “Not a Blog”, noting that it was one of five pitches he made to HBO as part of his overall development deal with them, all of them based on notable works of science fiction and fantasy that he believed could work well adapted. Vince Gerardis, who helped package Game of Thrones, will also have a co-executive credit.
To simplify the website going forward, Linda and I have been working on folding the GoT sub-section of the site into the general Westeros site. This was in part due to the fact that with the prospect of not one but several spin-offs, it felt like it’d be confusing to create sub-sections for each of them.
So far, the old GoT News, Features, and Gallery sections are now part of the general Westeros site. Old inks to those GoT pages should redirect correctly to their new locations. The Episode and Character Guides are presently inaccessible until we move those over as well.
During the regular TCA presentations, where various networks and studios present themselves, performers, and new shows to the Television Critic Association, Casey Bloys had a number of things to say about Game of Thrones prequels and projects. Deadline has a detailed report, and The Hollywood Reporter has an interview with Bloys that touches on it as well.
The main takeaway—beyond the more concrete reveal that House of the Dragon is going into production in April—is that while reports of prequels being explored in live and animated form, it’s still very much up in the air. Though Bloys suggests that “zero” of these shows going forward would be the “wrong number”, it’ll be a matter of finding stories worth telling (and, one hopes, worth telling well!) that determines how many of these shows will go ahead.
HBO has announced a number of additional castings for House of the Dragon, which is set to begin filming this April. Deadline has a good report with details based on HBO’s official press release, but we’ll summarize here:
In a brief post at “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin shares some thoughts on the previous year. A dark time, as he notes, with the global pandemic, and the loss of a number of friends such as Susan Ellison, Kay McCauley, Ben Bova, and Phyllis Eisenstein, while other friends are in poor health. Still, he is hopeful for the future, especially as one of the more positive developments last year was the best writing streak he’s ever had on The Winds of Winter.
In his own words:
“I wrote hundreds and hundreds of pages of THE WINDS OF WINTER in 2020. The best year I’ve had on WOW since I began it. Why? I don’t know. Maybe the isolation. Or maybe I just got on a roll. Sometimes I do get on a roll.
“I need to keep rolling, though. I still have hundreds of more pages to write to bring the novel to a satisfactory conclusion.
“That’s what 2021 is for, I hope.”
Via our friends at Los Siete Reinos, we’ve learned that an on-line resume, posted by his representatives at the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency, shows that award-winning Game of Thrones and Westworld composer Ramin Djawadi is returning to Westeros to compose the soundtrack of the forthcoming House of the Dragon.
Following on recent news that HBO is taking pitches for prequels to Game of Thrones, The Hollywood Reporter has now revealed that another aspect of the process of turning Game of Thrones to new material is exploring creating an “adult-leaning” animated series. Per the article:
“Meetings with writers for the adult-leaning project, which would be similar in tone to HBO’s Emmy-winning flagship, are already under way. No deals have been made and there’s still a possibility that the animated series never comes to fruition.
“Reps for HBO Max declined comment.
“The animated idea is part of a larger strategy to expand the world of creator George R.R. Martin’s fantasy drama. Sources say development executives at HBO — led by drama head Francesca Orsi and her group — are working directly with Martin on building out the sprawling Game of Thrones world. (Martin remains under a rich overall deal with the cabler.)”
Funnily enough, we brought up the possibility—or likelihood, really—that HBO and HBO Max would be looking to expand the world into different forms beyond just a standard hour-long, multi-episode series, much as Disney and Paramount have done with Star Wars, Marvel, and Star Trek. In fact, the THR report notes that HBO was looking in this direction long before Disney announced its massive expansion of Star Wars series.
Back in November, we mentioned that House of the Dragon exective producer, show runner, and lead writer Ryan Condal was co-hosting a podcast about film and television props with director and producer David Mandel. We’ve been keeping an eye on The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of since then, in large part because it’s genuinely interesting listening for those who share a similar interest in movie history (especially as Mandel and Condal also share a love of many of the same iconic late 70’s-80’s films—Aliens, Star Wars, Blade Runner, etc.—that we do).
Big news out of Hollywood today, as Variety first revealed that HBO is in early development on adapting the Dunk & Egg novellas (collected in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms [affiliate link]) to the screen:
“The one-hour show would be based on the series of fantasy novellas by George R. R. Martin, which follow the adventures of Ser Duncan the Tall (Dunk) and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg) 90 years prior to the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire.
“No writer or talent is currently attached to the project, but sources say it is a high priority for HBO as the premium cabler looks to build on the success of Game of Thrones.”
“But that’s not all. HBO has been meeting with other top writers pitching others ideas based on Martin’s works. Among the ideas being contemplated is a prequel series based on Robert’s Rebellion, the war for the Iron Throne that upended Westeros a couple of decades before the events in Thrones. All the ideas are prequels; there are no sequels or spinoffs from the original series currently under consideration.
“One of the writers is a name familiar to HBO genre fans: Bruno Heller, who created the ambitious historical drama Rome [affiliate link], a series that was seen as a bit of a short-lived precursor to Thrones. That said, no writer is yet attached to any project.”
A few days ago, Random House and George R.R. Martin revealed the A Song of Ice and Fire 2022 Calendar (affiliate link), which will be illustrated—and gloriously so, by the looks of it—by Spanish artist Arantza Sestayo. As has become a tradition with these calendars, it will feature 12 paintings for each month, plus a bonus, double-page image to make 13 in total.
The calendar will be published on July 27th, but pre-orders are now available
HBO Max has released a look forward for the next year—a tradition HBO has been doing for many years—and decided to go a step further by hinting at things to come in 2022. Specifically, at the end of the video below, a dragon appears, breathes fire, and reveals what seems likely to be the logo for House of the Dragon (the three-headed dragon, of course, wreathed in flames):
This is not at all a surprise, as back in September HBO executives revealed that the show was being targeted for 2022. It’s interesting to see HBO Max using its arrival as the big hook for the final moment of its promotional video, however, showing that the company is puting a great deal of weight on it being a big draw to their platform.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Olivia Cooke (Ready Player One female lead) has been cast as Alicent Hightower, Emma d’Arcy has been cast as Rhaenyra Targaryen, and Matt Smith (Doctor Who, The Crown) has been cast as the “rogue prince”, Daemon Targaryen. This follows rumors along those lines about Smith over the last couple of weeks.
Princess Rhaenyra (depicted by Magali Villeneuve), Queen Alicent (depicted by Doug Wheatley), Prince Daemon (depicted by Marc Simonetti)
HBO’s official Game of Thrones social media channels have awoken to unleash the first concept art from House of the Dragon, featuring designs for two un-named dragons. We have some thoughts on just who they may be below…
The depiction of this dragon suggests it’s a young one, more similar in size to Daenerys’s dragons in the first half of GAME OF THRONES. By its coloring, we’re guessing this is a concept for Sunfyre, also known as Sunfyre the Golden.
Our friends at the Shire Post Mint, who are the only licensed purveyor of coins based on A Song of Ice and Fire, have launched their first ever “12 Days of Giving” event. It began on the 21st but will run through December 2nd. From their enormous catalog of coins and jewelry from ASoIaF as well as other fantasy settings (particularly licensed coins based on The Lord of the Rings), they’ve put together a special collection where many of the items are discounted by as much as 50%... and with the special promotional code, “FOREYULE2020”, you’ll get an additional 25% off the lowest-priced item in your cart.
Best of all, it’s for a good cause, as for every item you purchase $1 will go to No Kid Hungry, a charity devoted to helping make sure that children don’t go hungry by extending access to meals at school and after school, as well as providing education, advocacy, and research to reduce child nutritional deficits in the United States.
Lots of great ASoIaF designs. The Tywin Lannister “Half-dragon” design is particularly interesting, and the coin of the Faceless Men is particularly popular.