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:
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.
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.”
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.
Over at his “Not a Blog”, George R.R. Martin has posted a new update on various topics, including HBO’s House of the Dragon as well as where he’s at with the greatly-anticipated The Winds of Winter. Along the way, he gives some hints about what he’s been working on on the “big, big book”:
“Of late I have been spending a lot of time with the Lannisters. Cersei and Tyrion in particular. I’ve also paid a visit to Dorne, and dropped in to Oldtown a time or three. In addition to turning out new chapters, I’ve been revising some old ones (some very old)… including, yes, some stuff I read at cons ages ago, or even posted online as samples. I tweak stuff constantly, and sometimes go beyond tweaking, moving things around, combining chapters, breaking chapters in two, reordering stuff.”
(The newly-released A Storm of Swords (affiliate link) anniversary edition, featuring new illustrations from Gary Gianni.)
In one of the first interviews with House of the Dragon showrunner Ryan Condal since HBO’s straight-to-series order was announced, Beyond the Trailer‘s Grace Randolph manages to draw out a few details about the show and Condal’s relationship to the novels and George R.R. Martin in the course of discussing his passion (and that of fellow guest, writer and Veep showrunner David Mandel) for collecting Hollywood memorabila.
Besides revealing himself to be a very knowledgeable collector (for example, he shares the fact that there were only two hats used for Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark), he reveals a handful of things about the show:
It’s an entertaining interview with both writers/showrunners, with some fun anecdotes and some very neat examples of memorabilia (lets just say both Condal and Mandel are fans of certain iconic Lucasfilm movies). Well-worth watching the whole thing! The interview promotes Mandel’s and Condal’s new podcast, The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of, which is focused on collecting props. The first two episodes released yesterday, and can be found at all the major podcast sources.
UK Production News, a database for film productions in the UK which has proven to be a reliable source of information, has updated as of yesterday with information concerning the production of House of the Dragon, which reveald yesterday its first lead casting. First reported by Redanian Intelligence, a website focused primarily on The Witcher but which has kept a close eye on other genre productions, the database was updated to show two things: that the main production hub would be Warner Bros. Leavesden Studio complex and that plans now seem to begin filming in late 2020.
Redanian Intelligence‘s report shows the full listing of information from the database as of yesterday, but a visit today shows that it was updated with one more piece of information, that the first season is 10 episodes, which was reported back in July when the straight-to-series order was announced. So, no apparent change there.
From EW’s James Hibberd (whose Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon [paid link] is now out), HBO has revealed the first actor cast in next year’s House of the Dragon: Englsh actor Paddy Considine, known for a variety of roles including Edgar Wright comedies and, most recently, HBO’s The Outsider. According to the report, he has been cast to play King Viserys I Targaryen.
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)” href=“https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paddy_Considine_2011_(cropped).jpg”>CC BY-SA from the Cambridge Film Festival
Deadline has reported on an interview with Casey Bloys, the president of HBO, following HBO’s strong showing at the 2020 Emmys. Towards the end of the article, Deadline reports:
In a new Not a Blog post titled “Writing, Reading, Writing”, GRRM has written from his cabin hideaway about his isolation during the global pandemic. In the course of being up there, his assistant captured two mice that they’ve now made into pets named Timmy and TomTom, and George notes they have not been too helpful in advising him on The Winds of Winter...
... but he actually has a deal to say about the progress he has made, even if he thinks he won’t be able to recapture the blazing rate of speed in which he wrote A Storm of Swords (which peaked at about 150 manuscript pages a month).
Here’s what he has to say:
“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write. I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress. I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week. But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week. It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go. Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”
And below the fold, here’s some additional details that are slightly spoilerish in nature:
A friend in Belfast brought to our attention this breaking news from the Belfast Telegraph, revealing that HBO has served notice that it will no longer be holding on to its lease on the sprawling Paint Hall studio complex following the wrapping up of the “Long Night” prequel.
More importantly, however, the article indicates that NI Screen was aware that the House of the Dragon prequel series was definitely or at least unlikely to be filmed in Northern Ireland, which is a shock to some but perhaps not to others:
(Above: A photo from the season 1 set visit, taken in the bowels of the Paint Hall as Bryan Cogman led George R.R. Martin, Parris McBride [the photographer], and I between sets.)