Max Borenstein, co-writer of Godzilla vs. Kong, reveals how far his Game of Thrones spinoff series got into development before being canceled.
Max Borenstein, co-writer of Godzilla vs. Kong, reveals how far his Game of Thrones spinoff series got into development before being canceled. Following Game of Thrones’ divisive final season in 2019, both the fandom and HBO anticipate a return to form. George RR Martin’s long-awaited sixth book in the A Song of Ice and Fire saga, The Winds of Winter, as well as its sequel, looks to better conclude Jon Snow’s story Daenerys Targaryen. Meanwhile, HBO has been developing multiple spinoffs set in/around Westeros.
The first series to go into production was The Long Night, a prequel starring Naomi Watts and taking place during the winter that lasted an entire generation. Although a pilot was shot, HBO ultimately decided not to pick up the series. Now, several other Game of Thrones spinoffs have been announced as in development; the most prevalent being House of Dragon, a series set 300 years before Game of Thrones and centered around the early years of the Targaryen dynasty (inspired by Martin’s Fire & Blood), which begins filming this month and is set to premiere in 2022. Other shows include the Tales of Dunk and Egg, 9 Voyages, Flea Bottom, 10,000 Ships (likely temporary titles), and an untitled animation, all taking place before the events of the flagship series.
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In an interview with Collider, Borenstein spoke on another Game of Thrones prequel series he was developing for HBO. The writer said that he had an amazing experience and is extremely proud of the tremendous amount of work they did, admitting that he can’t say much about the mysterious project. When asked how far he’d gotten into it or whether it had a title, Borenstein said, “It was very developed in terms of the world; there was a script, there were outlines, and we had a title. We had a lot of stuff.”
Borenstein hopes that one day his project will have its moment and went on to clarify that the (now) Game of Thrones universe is an important proprietary brand; it’s up to HBO in terms of what information gets released, even regarding scrapped projects. Even though Watts’ pilot was rejected, she still hasn’t shared a single image of her costume, character details, etc. Initially, HBO commissioned five different Game of Thrones spinoffs; however, following The Long Night’s abandonment, it’s unclear which of those have continued to take shape. House of Dragon, on the other hand, was ordered to series almost immediately, with HBO greenlighting the project a month after ordering a pilot. HBO executive Casey Bloys has since said that fan anticipation will decide which Game of Thrones spinoffs get greenlit going forward.
With A Song of Ice and Fire and its companion pieces, Martin created a sprawling world with a rich history equatable to J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth, complex characters, and more details than could ever be featured in a single project. HBO seems to be drawing from every nook and cranny of Martin’s source material; for example, The Long Night was reportedly inspired by “a sentence or two” in The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and Game of Thrones. That said, it’s impossible to know what Borenstein’s series was about. The good news is that Martin appears to be heavily involved with the development of the spinoffs. He is serving as co-showrunner on House of Dragon with “Battle of the Bastards” director Miguel Sapochnik, who is directing the pilot and other episodes. Game of Thrones was at its best when following Martin’s books, which bodes well for our next trip to Westeros.
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