The final season of Game of Thrones debuts on April 14, but HBO isn’t done with Westeros. It has a prequel show on the way, stacked high with talent and set thousands of years before Jon or Daenerys or Tyrion or anyone else was born. We don’t have an official title and we don’t have a detailed synopsis, but we do now have a start date. HBO programming president Casey Bloys told Entertainment Weekly that filming on the prequel pilot will begin early this summer.
That means that the prequel, which is rumored to be titled The Long Night, will start shooting not long after Game of Thrones has aired its series finale, ensuring some continuity at HBO. We don’t know where they’re going to shoot, although the odds are good that HBO will take advantage of the production infrastructure the original Thrones team developed in Northern Ireland these past eight seasons.
While we don’t know who they’re playing, we do know a lot about the cast. Like Game of Thrones, the prequel will feature an ensemble, this one led by Naomi Watts (King Kong). Other players include Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie, and Denise Gough and several others. Again, nothing’s confirmed, but all signs point to The Long Night being about a wide variety of characters spread out geographically, much like Thrones.
Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, X-Men: First Class) is showrunner, working on a concept she developed with Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin. S.J. Clarkson, who’s directed episodes of everything from Orange Is The New Black to Jessica Jones, is directing the pilot. And it is just a pilot; HBO hasn’t ordered this thing to series, although we’d be surprised if that didn’t happen. If the show does get picked up, we could see it as early as 2020.
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