As production is wrapping on the final installment of mega hit Game Of Thrones, HBO has given a pilot green light to a GOT prequel series project from hot feature writer Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) and author/GOT co-executive producer George R.R. Martin.
Created by Goldman & Martin and written by Goldman based on a story by her and Martin, the untitled project takes the prequel concept to a new level as it is set thousands of years before the events of Game Of Thrones. The series is described as chronicling “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.”
Goldman will serve as showrunner and will executive produce alongside Martin as well as fellow GOT co-executive producer Vince Gerardis and Damages and Bloodline co-creator/exec producer Daniel Zelman. As previously announced, GOT creators/exec producers David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have no involvement in the potential offshoots.
The Goldman/Martin project was one of five GOT prequels HBO had put in development, signing deals with five writers to join Martin in the development and writing of five spinoffs of the blockbuster fantasy series, which don’t feature GOT characters. The other four scribes are Max Borenstein, Brian Helgeland, Carly Wray and Bryan Cogman. I hear that another of the scripts could get a green light though there is no rush or pressure to do so.
Asked by Deadline in January how many GOT prequel series HBO may go with, HBO president of programming Casey Bloys said, “anywhere from zero to five but probably more likely around one. I’m happy with what I’m seeing but don’t have a time table yet in terms of how we’re going to make decision,” he said.
It is emblematic that the first (and so far only) GOT prequel project to get a pilot order will be written and run by a woman, raising the possibility that it could have a female lead character, something that would distinguish it from GOT, which was focused on Jon Snow’s journey.
HBO had been looking to launch a GOT prequel series in 2020, putting distance between it and the 2019 finale of GOT.
“There is not going to be anything in any scenario where we have any sort of prequel air for at least a year after that,” Bloys told Deadline in January. “I want the final season of Game of Thrones to be the final season of Game Of Thrones, I don’t want to use it to launch something else, I want it to stand as the finale of the greatest tv show of all time, I don’t want to do anything that infringes on that.”
In addition to the final run of GOT, HBO’s drama series slate includes Westworld, currently airing Season 2 and already renewed for a third season, the recently premiered Succession, the upcoming Sharp Objects starring Amy Adams, J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele’s Lovecraft Country and Abrams’ recently ordered Demimonde, as well as Season 3 of True Detective and the second seasons of Big Little Lies and The Deuce.
The Goldman/Martin projects joins HBO’s other current drama pilots, Damon Lindeloff’s Watchmen, Euphoria starring Zandaya, and Run.
JJ British screenwriter Goldman has done six features with director Matthew Vaughn, her 2007 debut Stardust, followed by Kick Ass, X-Men: First Class and the the Kingsman franchise. She also has penned other features spanning the genre spectrum, from horror in James Watkins’ The Woman In Black to fantasy in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children. Ben Wheatley has recently signed on to helm her adaptation of Rebecca, and her screenplay for Disney’s live action The Little Mermaid is currently in development, with new musical numbers by Alan Menken and Lin Manuel Miranda.