Very interesting report from Deadline Hollywood‘s Nellie Andreeva following an interview with Franesca Orsi, HBO’s head of drama. It’s a wide-ranging interview covering a lot of HBO’s shows, but for our purposes, the most interesting tidbits relate to House of the Dragon, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, and potential other Westeros shows.
Addressing the on-going production of season 2 of House of the Dragon, Orsi noted that HBO was fully prepared to rewrite and reshoot anything that needed fixing once the WGA strike ends and the writers can take up their pens again to do writing work, but until then they are confident with the completed scripts they had to work with and have not dealyed producation at all. Speaking of a potential season 3 approval, it sounds like they’re not far from giving an immediate go ahead to season 3 to try and improve the turnaround from season to season. That said, how many seasons for the show in total remains a question:
“George and Ryan are going to meet after the writers strike. They had originally planned to meet before the strike took place and that was to figure out at what point the series itself was going to end. Is it four seasons? I don’t think from where I sit at this point will be any less than four. But could be more. We’ll see.”
George R.R. Martin has posted to his “Not a Blog” to discuss the big news that HBO has ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight (a working title, GRRM notes, that is not finalized) straight to series. George goes into some more detail about the project, pointing out that he first floated the Dunk & Egg stories for adaptation seven years ago, so things can move slowly… until they don’t. He also notes that despite reports (spurred by his own remarks that some things had been shelved, and some shifts of the Starling Inc. website that we reported on here), both the 10,000 Ships and Sea Snake shows remain in development. But more on that later.
On A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, George has some particular new details to share:
Our premiere season will be an adaptation of the first of the three published novellas, “The Hedge Knight,” the tale of how Dunk & Egg first met during a tournament at Ashford Meadow. The pilot script is already written, and I think it’s terrific. It was written by Ira Parker, who is no stranger to Westeros. He was part of Ryan Condal’s writing staff for the first season of HOUSE OF THE DRAGON, and wrote the fourth episode of Hot D’s first season, “King of the Narrow Sea.” That’s the one where Prince Daemon returns to King’s Landing after conquering the Stepstones, and takes Princess Rhaenyra down into the stews of Flea Bottom. Ryan Condal is on board as well, as an Executive Producer. So am I.
In a big presentation to announce their upcoming plans, including the launch of a new streaming service combining HBO MAX and Discovery+ called MAX, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that they had ordered A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight straight to series (no pilot episode) with the following log-line describing the basic idea of the show, which is based on the Dunk & Egg novellas:
A century before the events of Game of Thrones, two unlikely heroes wandered Westeros… a young, naïve but courageous knight, Ser Duncan the Tall, and his diminutive squire, Egg. Set in an age when the Targaryen line still holds the Iron Throne and the memory of the last dragon has not yet passed from living memory, great destinies, powerful foes, and dangerous exploits all await these improbable and incomparable friends.
Fans have long wanted to see Dunk & Egg brought to the screen, as they give a very unique look into the Seven Kingdoms and the Targaryens from the eyes of a man of low birth who rises to great fame over his lifetime. Notably, HBO has also shared details about the writers and executive producers for this series.
Some significant House of the Dragon news reported by Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, who has received word (and confirmed some parts of it with HBO) that for “story-driven” reasons the plan of a 10 episode 2nd season has been changed to an 8 episode 2nd season, which has necessitated some re-writing and likely has contributed to the slight delays to the planned commencement of filming (however, production is imminent and the prospective air date remains summer 2024). Per Andreeva’s report:
“It has been reported that House of the Dragon‘s creative team had envisioned the series running for three or four seasons. I hear executive producer-showrunner Ryan Condal, working with author/executive producer George R.R. Martin, took a step back as Season 2 was being put together to take a big-picture view of the series, which follows Martin’s Fire & Blood, and figure out the overall narrative flow, including how to break up the stories season-to-season and what battles to include and when.”
Interestingly, Andreeva notes that even with the reduction of two episodes, Condal and GRRM are still discussing whether three or four seasons work better. Her piece goes into some more detail about just what was moved out of the 2nd season for the prospective 3rd season, which we’ll quote below and speculate on a bit.
From a recent post on his “Not a Blog”, fans have learned that the long-gestating film adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s short story “In the Lost Lands” has been filmed and now only post-production waits. Besides some exclusive photos from the production, featuring star Milla Jovovich and the director Paul W.S. Anderson, GRRM provides some background on the story, one of his first straight “fantasy” stories about a character named Gray Alys that he had once intended to be a recurring character in a series of stories. Co-starring with Jovovich is actor Dave Bautista, in the role of Boyce.
Variety reports that the science fiction novel Hunter’s Run, co-authored by George R.R. Martin, Daniel Abraham, and the late Gardner Dozois, has been optioned by Exile Content with Mark Raso attached to direct and co-write the English-language script with his brother Joseph. Martin and Vince Gerardis are attached as executive producers, alongside the Raso brothers.
George R.R. Martin has always been very generous, and as his success as grown, so too as his generosity. Wildlife recues, film and television training programs, writing scholarships... and now the latest example, as he donates $5 million to his alma mater of Northwestern University to establish a new writing workshop for journalism professionals to explore creative writing, as well as to endow the new George R.R. Martin Chair of Storytelling.
For more details, see the press release from Northwestern below:
Today is the day: The Rise of the Dragon has hit book shelves in many countries! It’s also available as an e-book ... and even as an audio book, read by the wonderful Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) which is a particular honor since we’re huge fans of his. We’ve been amazed by the positive response online, especially at the various art previews, and we have to say we owe a lot to all the artists who worked hard to make this what this is. There’s a lot of promotion going on, but one we particularly enjoyed is this trailer from our terrific UK publisher, Harper Voyager:
In the lead up to today’s release, George R.R. Martin took part in an online event where he spoke with friend and author David Anthony Durham to promote the book as well as House of the Dragon. While the stream has not been publicly released as of yet, read below for some of our realtime tweeting of some choice remarks and information from George… including an update on progress on The Winds of Winter!
Today features a very notable birthday. No, we don’t mean Sophia Loren’s (though that’s very fine company to be in). It’s in fact George R.R. Martin’s birthday today, making him 74 years young. Six years ago we were invited to write a tribute to George over at Tor.com, that you can read here. We know fans of his work—and fans of the good he’s done for the genre, for fandom, and for the various good causes he has contributed to—the world over wish him well on this auspicious day.
One of the nonprofit organizations GRRM has been a major supporter of is the Stagecoach Foundation, which he co-founded to help provide training and work opportunities for residents of New Mexico in the state’s burgeoning film industry. A donation to the foundation would no doubt be very welcome, especially today!
George R.R. Martin on the set for his cameo in the Game of Thrones pilot, which was later reshot and lost that footage. He has yet to make a formal cameo on one of HBO’s shows.
A pleasant surprise today, as the official Game of Thrones channels dropped a new video, this time a rather unique one as it had George R.R. Martin narrating the history of the Targaryens (as well as the Hightowers and Velaryons) that leads up to the time of The House of the Dragons, with animated graphics from none other than artist Doug Wheatley, the illustrator of Fire and Blood.
Very interesting that the Hightowers get a little bit of focus in this video. The Velaryons are to be expected, of course, although an interesting thing we noticed about this video is that it only mentions the marriage of Corlys to Rhaenys as one of the ties the families have to one another, when of course Aegon the Conqueror and his sisters had a Velaryon mother. It’s a short video, but since Aegon and the Conquest was mentioned, it seemed like a detail they could have slipped in there if they wanted to.
Great news from the LA Shorts International Film Festival! GRRM’s adaptation of his friend Howard Waldrop’s story “The Night of the Cooters” has won “Best Sci-Fi”. We previously wrote about the project when the teaser came out last year. Read the full press release for all the details.
Los Angeles, August 1, 2022 –
With Vincent D’ Onofrio (Daredevil, Ratched) leading from behind and in front of the camera, George R.R. Martin’s adaptation of Howard Waldrop’s renowned short story of the same name Night of the Cooters garnered “Best Sci-Fi” at this year’s LA Shorts International Film Festival. Closing the festival with the show stopper, screenwriter Joe R. Lansdale (Bubba Ho-Tep, Hap and Leonard) moderated a cast Q&A following the world premiere to a full house at Laemmle NoHo theaters, and from the “Best Sci-Fi” nod, the audience really liked it!
Hot on the heels of EW‘s exclusive, the Hollywood Reporter has published a two-part extravaganza from Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon chronicler James Hibberd (Part 1, Part 2 digging further into both the origins of House of the Dragon, its story and production, and the future of the show as well as other shows in the Game of Thrones universe.
Prince Daemon trying out his brothers chair.
The last few days have been jam-packed with House of the Dragon information, all of it leading to the big panel a San Diego Comic-Con, and the August 21st premiere of the show beyond that. The latest? A video from HBO giving us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the show in production, with brief comments from show runners Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik, and creator George R.R. Martin:
But what really kicked it of was Entertainment Weekly and its exclusive article from Nick Romano, who visited the sit and spoke extensively with the cast and crew of the show. Since that initial release, EW has been releasing more articles and photos on a daily basis, again leading up to the big SDCC premiere.
We’ve been in the midst of a vacation over here a Westeros, but George R.R. Martin has been keeping busy! A recent Not a Blog post goes into some length about the state of the highly-anticipated The Winds of Winter, a post which seems to have been prompted after a recent round of interviews (including this excellent interview by the team at Game of Owns). It’s the lengthiest update he’s given on the book in some years, and is well worth reading closely. And while he’s at it, George reveals how the story has been slowly moving further and further away from what he envisioned years earlier, even as late as when he met with the showrunners of Game of Thrones to discuss his plans.
Random House has revealed their publishing plans for the summer, and fans have noticed that July seems particularly stacked with House of the Dragon tie-ins using Fire and Blood as the focal material.
First, Random House revealed that on July 12th they will publish tie-in editions of Fire and Blood that will feature a cover using photography from House of the Dragon. Second, Random House announced that the 2023 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar, to release on July 19, will be based entirely on Fire and Blood. And, in a departure from the previous calendars, this will feature an array of artists rather than just one. No word yet as to who has contributed.
Fans may notice these July dates, and speculation has run that the dating relates to the as-yet-unannounced premiere of House of the Dragon.
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