There’s still two more (shortened) seasons of “Game Of Thrones” to go, but HBO isn’t wasting a hot moment planning for the future, and trying to retain the global audience that has made the series such a phenomenon. Earlier this month it was revealed that four spinoffs were in the works, with a team of writers tackling the various projects including Max Borenstein (“Godzilla,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Jane Goldman (“Kick-Ass,” “Kingsman: The Secret Service”), Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential”), and Carly Wray (“Mad Men,” “The Leftovers,” “Westworld“). Not all of these will get greenlit, but HBO clearly wants something worthy of a greenlight to come out of the development process, as there’s a fifth show in the works.
The news comes via “Game Of Thrones” creator George R.R. Martin, who has addressed the brewing shows in a lengthy Livejournal post, while sharing some details too. Here are the highlights:
The “Game Of Thrones” spinoffs aren’t actually spinoffs, and won’t feature any current characters
“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 Fire And Ice.’ 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 ‘After MASH‘ or even ‘Frazier‘ [sic] 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.”
George R.R. Martin is writing on all of them
“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.”
“Dunk and Egg” is not one of the shows
“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.”
For fans of the books, Martin insists he’s still working on the long, long, long-awaited “Winds Of Winter,” but it doesn’t sound like its hitting shelves anytime soon. Thoughts? Let us know in the comments section. “Game Of Thrones” returns on July 16th.