HBO Programming President Casey Bloys Talks 'Game of Thrones' Backlash, Prequels, Spinoffs
We are now in Day 3 of our post-Game of Thrones world, and we are still digesting the finale. We have more on that to come, including Castleton’s deep dives — the last one was 24,000 words, so God knows what to expect from this, but I will say that the six recaps he wrote this year will top out at over 130,000 words, combined, which is the equivalent to the word count for Schindler’s List. In other words, Castleton has written a long novel in six weeks. That is staggering.
Anyway, Casey Bloys spoke to Deadline a bit about the backlash to the finale of Game of Thrones, the prequel in development, and the prospect of spin-offs. The long and short of it on the backlash is basically that Benioff and Weiss had that end in mind for a long time, there was very little internal debate over it, HBO trusted their showrunners, and while the ending was “divisive,” Bloys is pleased with how passionate the reaction to the finale was. The exact quote was this:
I think based on online reaction, which you do have to take with a grain of salt, it does seem split and I think that’s about right — some people are going to love it, some people are going to hate it. But the point is, everybody is feeling really passionate about it.
Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a single person who loved the finale, but I will concede that there was a lot of passion surrounding it. Bloys even chalked up the Starbucks coffee cup and the water bottle reaction to “passion,” which I think is accurate, although I will say this: These things happen. But if it had happened on a Vince Gilligan show, he’d be beating himself up for weeks.
As for the prequel? The one from Jane Goldman starring Naomi Watts? Casting is finished, they’re shooting the pilot in June, and then they’ll assess, and decide whether to move forward on it. They like the script, and they’re optimistic. If they do move forward, the prequel could arrive as soon as next year, but more likely in 2021 or even later. The prequel is designed to exist in the same universe, but the characters will be completely different. We don’t really have any details beyond that.
There are other prequel ideas in development, but HBO says that, should Goldman’s prequel move ahead, it will almost certainly be the only Game of Thrones property to air on HBO. They’re not interested in more than one at a time (despite what George R.R. Martin says about two other projects moving ahead). There’s also no interest in any direct Game of Thrones’ spin-offs, specifically one following Arya’s adventures. Bloys is adamant about the eight seasons of Game of Thrones standing on its own.
Beyond Game of Thrones, Bloys also said that Benioff and Weiss may or may not stay within the HBO fold, that their series Confederate is not on the front burner, and that season three of Westworld “still has robots in it but it’s not so much a reboot as it is following the characters.”
Header Image Source: HBO