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HBO has five potential Game of Thrones spinoffs in development [GRRM & Bloys updates]

From IGN

HBO has closed deals for writers to begin work on four potential Game of Thrones prequel series, IGN has learned.

Each of the writers is exploring various time periods set in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire universe. The screenwriters for the different potential projects are Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island); Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and George R.R. Martin; Brian Helgeland (LA: Confidential, Robin Hood); and Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers) and George R.R. Martin.

Martin and Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will serve as executive producers on all projects.

Both Benioff and Weiss are notably absent from the writing teams for potential spinoffs, though. The duo is currently finishing production on Season 7 of Game of Thrones, and Benioff and Weiss are already writing and preparing for the eighth -- and final -- season. As expected and as they have said in the past, they will not be writing any of these other ASoIaF-set projects.

crush my skull if old

Mod Abuse EDIT:

Big additional update from GRRM on his blog:
About Those Spinoffs...

So while I was on the road out California way, the story broke about the four GAME OF THRONES spinoffs that HBO is developing. And of course the news has since spread everywhere, all over the web and all over the world.

Yes, it's true. More or less. Though, as is all too common these days, various distortions and misapprehensions have crept into some of the reports along the way. And television being the fast-moving business that it is, there have already been some further developments.

For what it's worth, I don't especially like the term "spinoff," and I don't think it really applies to these new projects. What we're talking about are new stories set in the "secondary universe" (to borrow Tolkien's term) of Westeros and the world beyond, the world I created for A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE. It is a world, and a pretty big one, and if there were eight million stories in the naked city back in the 50s, just think how many more there are in an entire world, and one with thousands of years of recorded history.

None of these new shows will be 'spinning off' from GOT in the traditional sense. We are not talking Joey or AfterMASH or even Frazier or Lou Grant, where characters from one show continue on to another. So all of you who were hoping for the further adventures of Hot Pie are doomed to disappointment. Every one of the concepts under discussion is a prequel, rather than a sequel. Some may not even be set on Westeros. Rather than 'spinoff' or 'prequel,' however, I prefer the term 'successor show.' That's what I've been calling them.

Yes, I am involved, and have been for months. I had my first meeting with HBO about the possibility of a successor show back in August, when I pitched them two possible series. (One of those is among the concepts being developed, one is not). In the months that followed, other writers were brought in and pitched other ideas. Ultimately HBO decided to go ahead with four separate developments, to be written by Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, and Carly Wray.

It was stated in some of the reports that I am working with two of the four writers. That's not quite right. I've actually been working with all four of the writers. Every one of the four has visited me here in Santa Fe, some of them more than once, and we've spent days together discussing their ideas, the history of Westeros and the world beyond, and sundry details found only in The World of Ice & Fire and The Lands of Ice & Fire... when we weren't drinking margaritas and eating chile rellenos and visiting Meow Wolf. They are all amazing talents, and I am excited to be working with them. In between visits, I've been in touch with them by phone, text, and email, and I expect there will be a lot more back-and-forth as we move forward.

And there's more. We had four scripts in development when I arrived in LA last week, but by the time I left we had five. We have added a fifth writer to the original four. No, I will not reveal the name here. HBO announced the names of the first four, and will no doubt announce the fifth as well, once his deal has closed. He's a really terrific addition, however, a great guy and a fine writer, and aside from me and maybe Elio and Linda, I don't know anyone who knows and loves Westeros as well as he does.

Some of the reports of these developments seem to suggest that HBO might be adding four successor shows to the schedule to replace GAME OF THRONES. Decades of experience in television and film have taught me that nothing is ever really certain... but I do think it's very unlikely that we'll be getting four (or five) series. At least not immediately. What we do have here is an order for four -- now five -- pilot scripts. How many pilots will be filmed, and how many series might come out of that, remains to be seen. (If we do get five series on the air, I might have to change my name to Dick Direwolf).

The one goal that EVERYONE involved shares here is to make these new shows just as good as GAME OF THRONES itself. No easy task, mind you. David Benioff and Dan Weiss are a tough, tough act to follow, as all those Emmys demonstrate.

I can't tell you what the shows will be about (well, I could, but I won't), but I will tell you a couple of things they WON'T be. Which will disappoint some of you, sure, but better to do that now than later, I think.

We're not doing Dunk & Egg. Eventually, sure, I'd love that, and so would many of you. But I've only written and published three novellas to date, and there are at least seven or eight or ten more I want to write. We all know how slow I am, and how fast a television show can move. I don't want to repeat what happened with GAME OF THRONES itself, where the show gets ahead of the books. When the day comes that I've finished telling all my tales of Dunk & Egg, then we'll do a tv show about them... but that day is still a long ways off.

We're not doing Robert's Rebellion either. I know thousands of you want that, I know there's a petition... but by the time I finish writing A SONG OF ICE & FIRE, you will know every important thing that happened in Robert's Rebellion. There would be no surprises or revelations left in such a show, just the acting out of conflicts whose resolutions you already know. That's not a story I want to tell just now; it would feel too much like a twice-told tale.

More than that, I will not say. Feel free to makes your guesses, if you like... but I am not going to be confirming or denying anything, so don't expect replies.

And yes, before someone asks, I AM STILL WORKING ON WINDS OF WINTER and will continue working on it until it's done. I will confess, I do wish I could clone myself, or find a way to squeeze more hours into the day, or a way to go without sleep. But this is what it is, so I keep on juggling. WINDS OF WINTER, five successor shows, FIRE AND BLOOD (that's the GRRMarillion, remember?), four new Wild Cards books, some things I can't tell you about yet... it's a good thing I love my work.

- EW: Game of Thrones: HBO clarifies prequels, final seasons plan
”I want to put the prequels in context," Bloys began. ”It should go without saying I love having a show with this much intense interest around it. Even the smallest bit of information is a big deal and I appreciate that. But I wanted to make sure fans know this is a really embryonic process. I haven't even seen outlines. In the press at large, everybody said, ‘there are four spinoffs' and they assume that means each one is happening and we're going to have a new Game of Thrones show per quarter. That's not what's going on. The idea is not to do four shows. The bar set by [Benioff and Weiss] is so high that my hope is to get one show that lives up to it. Also, this is a long-term plan. Our No. 1 goal is the seventh season this summer and getting the eighth season written and aired."

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Can you talk about your strategy to develop multiple Thrones prequels at once? It's a unique approach, particularly for a network that's never made a spinoff or prequel series before.

CASEY BLOYS: You couldn't do this with a lot of shows. In talking with the drama group here, and the nice thing is George has created an entire universe. The fact that there's enough material to even contemplate making different prequels is crazy when you think about it. George has all these histories he's thought about and that's one reason why the books are so good.

The other reason, frankly, as I said, is the bar is so high. 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.

What sort of timeline are you looking at for potentially launching a new Thrones universe series?

Making Game of Thrones as good as possible is the No. 1 goal, and then we'll see about these scripts. You're not going to see a situation where the next show in the Thrones universe launches off the back of this one. The show that Dan and David have created will get its proper send off first. We wouldn't want to take away from that in any way.

I heard originally that one or more might be a limited series instead of a regular series. Is that anthology-style format possible?

At this point, everything is on the table. The idea is to find a series. It would be nice to find something that has the legs this one did. But if something works better as a limited series, sure.
I think it's great HBO keeps giving the producers the resources they need to each season as strong as possible, no matter how many — or few — episodes there are.

And circling back to what I said earlier, that's why I want to temper the exception on prequels. We want to focus on season 7 and 8. If any of these scripts come to pass, you're not going to see anything air anytime close to the season 8 finale,

Martin is credited on two of the prequels, and he says he's involved with all. Is he actively co-writing these pilots or is he more like the franchise's creative advisor?

It varies project by project. 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.

And because they're all prequels there is no expectation of any roles in the prequels for the original cast?


More details in another interview with HBO president Casey Bloys:

- THR: 'Game of Thrones' Future Explained: Could All the Prequels Move Forward?
This is the first time HBO is revisiting one of its originals. How did the idea for these successor shows come about? Was this an organic decision or did pitches start coming in out of the woodwork?

I consider us incredibly fortunate to have a show that this many people have such interest in and that is such a good show. Truly I think it will go down as one of the best shows in the history of television. It would be insane for a network not to at least entertain the idea of a successor shows — I was going to say "prequel" but they're not spin-offs because there are no existing characters going off the flagship. It's not Laverne & Shirley from Happy Days; they are prequels. But it would be insane — with a universe like George has created that is so vast and has so many characters and so many timelines — to not, at least, entertain the idea, which is what we're doing.

George has said there's a fifth one in the works. Who is the writer?

I have a deal for four spinoffs right now with four writers.

You're taking a highly unusual development path with these; it's rare to develop four properties at the same time. Why go this route?

This franchise is really rich and very exciting. It is going to be really, really hard for anybody to match the level that this show has set in terms of quality and filmmaking. So the idea was, if we're going to try it, let's take a couple of shots and see. My hope is at least one lives up to the level of quality Benioff and Weiss have set. But again, it's also very early in the process. I haven't even seen an outline for them. The priority here is obviously season seven and then season eight. You're not going to see a situation where we're launching a prequel on the back of the final season. The final season is going to be its own event. It's going to be a big deal for us and the fans. I'm not interested in using it to launch any other show. We mentioned the spin-offs because obviously there's a lot of interest in them, but it's a very embryonic process, and you know how development goes — it can be a long process. We confirmed their existence because there was a lot of interest, but it's not something that we are fast-tracking to get done to air immediately after the final season. I'm guessing fans will need some time to decompress from how amazing the final season is.

If these outlines and these scripts come in, can you see one of these prequels airing before the final season?

No, absolutely not. No way. There's not going to be anything — the only thing that will be Game of Thrones related on the air will be season seven and season eight, and then it will be a good long while if and before anything [new] gets on the air. Again, I say that only because I think when we confirmed the [prequels'] existence — that we were exploring this — that read to the general public that, "Wow, these are far along." We were just confirming it so people didn't speculate.

You've said before HBO is not going to have a version of Game of Thrones on in every quarter — which is a strategy AMC is doing with The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. But in success, what happens if three of the four come in great?

You know the odds in development. I think that is probably unlikely. I was at Touchstone during Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. They had a hit show and they aired four in a week. This show is very special. I'm not looking to have as many as possible. My sense right now is we would be very lucky if one of the four rises to the level that we have set. Now, theoretically, what if they're all great? That's a high-class problem that I'll solve when it comes to that. But knowing what we know about the development process, that's why we wanted to increase our odds. But I do not see a scenario where we have more than one. But again, high-class problem.

This is such a sprawling world in terms of timelines, mythology and characters. How much trepidation do you feel starting over from scratch? These are all prequels and as you've said, completely separate from the successful world you've already built.

Doing any show, any pilot, any potential series is very difficult — it's lightning in a bottle. There's a little bit of magic, a little bit of luck. Even with the best of scripts, it has to be cast just so, it has to be directed just so, written just so. In the best case scenario, it's difficult to get the show right. What you've got in this situation is probably one of the best shows in television history as a benchmark. That makes it that much harder. We have world-class writers taking shots at this. I'm hopeful, but the fans have come to expect a really high level of writing, acting and storytelling, so it's a high bar, no question.

Considering all of the projects are prequels, will these be more along the lines of Fear the Walking Dead — which exists in the same universe but does not have any direct connection to the flagship — or Better Call Saul, which will eventually take viewers to the beginning of Breaking Bad? Could these eventually connect to a flagship or will they be in an island of one?

The whole world is connected to some extent family tree-wise, and the timelines are so vast that unless you jumped ahead tens or hundreds of years, I don't see [the prequels connecting] happening. The other point I want to make about clamping down spin-off fever is if none of them work, remember, we are building up our drama slate: We have Westworld, which is our highest-rated freshman drama in history; Watchmen, which we're very hopeful that Damon Lindelof is excited about working on that; we've got Lovecraft Country; Alan Ball's show; we've got David Simon's new show. So it would be nice to have a Game of Thrones property, but the fate of the network does not hang in the balance.

If you were to look, say, 10 years into the future, what's the state of Game of Thrones on HBO?

Going back to that Who Wants to Be a Millionaire comparison, I think overdoing it — like having multiple shows — there's a risk of diluting the quality and driving it into the ground. I have no interest in doing that. But it would be nice if we got one of these off the ground and it ran for multiple seasons. The nice thing about George's universe is it's so vast. Could you do another one after that? Sure. By the way, in 10 years, I'm guessing that will be someone else's problem! (Laughs.)

How involved is George in all of these?

He's co-writing two of them. A lot of it will depend on how much George is engaged and how he clicks with writers and how much the writers want to bring him into the process. That will vary project by project. But he's a fantastic resource. Nobody knows the universe better than the one who created it.

Will Weiss and Benioff be credited as exec producers even though they want to walk away from the franchise after the flagship ends?

In theory, they are entitled to passive participation as a sign of respect for what they've done with the franchise. By the time the eighth season airs, they will have been with this show for 13 years. And I think it's important to point out this is the only thing they've worked on. They haven't gone out and pitched other TV shows or movies. This is an all-consuming job, and they want to see it through. When they're done, they don't want to feel any sense of responsibility or obligation, and they said to me they hope to watch whatever spin-off they have purely as a fan, sitting at home, not overseas working on a production. So I understand that they need a clean break. They've done something historic and huge and they don't want to feel obligated to participate or offer any guidance to a show.

Will they have any say in terms of what moves forward, if anything?

They don't want any. They want to focus on, at this point, season eight. I don't think they want to be distracted by somebody else's writing that they're not responsible for. They have said that 13 years is enough.

On the flipside, what happens if you're not impressed with any of the four prequels? Would you try again?

Maybe. I don't know, it's hard to say. We've got some really amazing writers so I'm hopeful. It would be nice to find something else there. HBO will survive with or without a prequel. But that said, the world is so rich, it'd be great if we could crack one.

Considering the scope of this world and the volume of characters, have you considered doing something like a prequel anthology where it's either a different character every season or every episode, a la Black Mirror?

No. I want to be mindful of overdoing it. I look at this universe as very precious resource. I do not want to overexploit it.
- EW: Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman developing a 5th prequel series
EW can exclusively report that Thrones co-executive producer Bryan Cogman is penning a drama series follow-up to the Emmy-winning blockbuster. Cogman developed the project by working closely with author George R.R. Martin, who cryptically referenced the existence of an additional unconfirmed prequel on his blog months ago.
There are no specific story details yet available for any of the new GoT projects. But Martin has ruled out tackling Robert's Rebellion (noting fans already know all the major plot points from that war anyway) or mining his Dunk & Egg tales (as they are still being written).

Also: All the prequel projects are set before the events in Game of Thrones and do not involve any members of the current cast (the term ”spinoff" is frequently used to describe these projects though it's not technically correct).

Like all TV projects in development, none of the prequels are guaranteed to air. HBO programming president Casey Bloys has said that he might only eventually greenlight one of them. The executive also recently said that any Game of Thrones prequel won't air until at least a year after the flagship series concludes. GoT is expected to return for its final season in either late 2018 or 2019. So we're probably looking at 2020 until we see a follow-up GoT title.
I'll watch all of them. Will be interesting to see how this is handled and how each series will differ from each other and the original.


Now what's the next step in your master plan?
I'll pass unless these are god damned amazing but yeah, not at all interested in seeing any of these stories. I tend to not have the opinion of prequel stuff just for more content.
They couldn't even make one good show and now they're making four more?

Damn, I miss the old HBO.

Er, I know the last couple seasons overall have been a bit of a drop in quality, but seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones are still pretty high quality IMO. And even with Season 5 and some of 6 it's still a great show.


They couldn't even make one good show and now they're making four more?

Damn, I miss the old HBO.



predictable, but still great news. This should be epic, especially looking forward to watching Roberts Rebellion.
I'd very surprised if they launch all 4, or even 3. I'd assume they are throwing things around to see what sticks.

The best way to go seems to be to commission 4 and choose the best 1. But what do I know.
I'd be much more interested in new stories tbh. Explore some stuff we've barely even heard of, isn't there a continent south of all the others?


helped a brotha out on multiple separate occasions!
The screenwriters for the different potential projects are Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Kong: Skull Island); Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and George R.R. Martin; Brian Helgeland (LA: Confidential, Robin Hood); and Carly Wray (Mad Men, The Leftovers) and George R.R. Martin.
😂 He really really doesn't want to finish the book series.
Er, I know the last couple seasons overall have been a bit of a drop in quality, but seasons 1-4 of Game of Thrones are still pretty high quality IMO. And even with Season 5 and some of 6 it's still a great show.

Some of six? I'd say the entirety of six is better than anything in five outside of Hardhome. And the last two episodes of season six I'd put up against anything in the series.
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