WHEN it comes to anything to do with Game of Thrones, one thing is absolutely certain: it will be shrouded in secrecy.
Over the past year, only tiny nuggets of information have been released about the five Game of Thrones prequel projects rumoured to be in the works.
In June,GoT creator George R.R. Martin revealed on his blog that one of the projects had been shelved, but that four were still remaining.
“If you have been following along, you know that we started with four, and eventually went to five. One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand, and of course Jane’s pilot is now moving to film. But that does not mean the others are dead,” he wrote.
(FYI — “Jane’s Pilot” is the project I’m talking about here — and Jane is Kingsman and Kick-Ass screenwriter Jane Goldman.)
Honestly, like the final season of Thrones, the whole process seemed to be taking forever — but with the announcement that actress Naomi Watts had officially signed on for one of the new shows, things seem to have finally taken a big step forward.
Here’s everything we know about the new show which will (hopefully) sate our Thrones thirst once the original series finishes up next year.
Just last week, Martin seemingly revealed the name of the new show during a casting call-out on Twitter.
(Is it just me, or does The Long Night have a bit of a “Winter is Coming” feel to it?)
WHEN WILL IT AIR?
The Long Night is slated to arrive sometime in 2020.
Of course, what most fans want to know is exactly how this show will fit into the hugely complex jigsaw puzzle that is Game of Thrones.
An official statement from HBO has revealed that TLN will be set thousands of years before GoT — and could give us some more information about key players in the original series.
“The series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: it’s not the story we think we know.”
Beyond the above statement from HBO, details about TLN’s actual plot points are scarce.
The only storylines which have been definitively ruled out by Martin so far are those featuring Ser Duncan the Tall and Aegon the Unlikely — and Robert’s Rebellion.
The new show will definitely be at least partly set in Westeros — the continent made famous in GoT — but it’s already been made clear to fans that it won’t set out to answer any burning questions leftover from the original series.
As HBO’s President of Programming, Casey Bloys, told Deadline in July: “(Screenwriter Jane Goldman) did not go into (the prequel) wanting to answer anything about Game of Thrones. It was the story that spoke to her. It’s a very different setting, a very different time in Westeros. It will feel different but still Game of Thrones.”
This “different setting” could mean any number of things — but many fans are speculating that we could be crossing the Narrow Sea to Essos for the new storylines.
We already know that Oscar-nominated actress Naomi Watts has signed on to the project — and she’ll be joined by 28-year-old British actor Josh Whitehouse, who’s best known for BBC series Poldark.
According to Variety , Watts will play “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret” — but apart from that, we know nothing, Jon Snow (sorry).
Oh — and for anyone hoping their favourite GoT characters may make an appearance, bad news: as of now, the likes of Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke and Peter Dinklage have no plans to return for the prequel.
THE TEAM BEHIND THE SCENES
Screenwriter and showrunner Jane Goldman will also be an executive producer on the show, working alongside George R.R. Martin, fellow GoT co-executive producer Vince Gerardis, and Daniel Zelman (Bloodline, Damages).
They’re joined by former BBC Studios executive James Farrell and Jim Danger Gray as executive producers, and The Alienist’s producer Chris Symes as co-executive producer.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — GoT’s creators and executive producers — have no involvement in any new projects.
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