- 16 June 2010
- By Gerard Wood
Since writing about HBO's proposed fantasy series Game of Thrones back in July last year, there's been little to report. Or so we thought. In fact we missed a fairly momentous announcement in March that HBO was sufficiently impressed with the pilot to commission a further nine episodes. Production is set to resume in Belfast this month.
Based on George R. R. Martin’s award winning fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire, it was originally reported that HBO planned to produce a TV series for each novel, with each series comprising 13 episodes. It's not entirely clear where things stand at the moment, but it's reasonable to conclude that the first series at least will be ten episodes. It was also hinted back then that Martin might write one episode per series, and on his blog (that is Not a Blog) he reveals that he did indeed pen episode eight.
As we commented last year, HBO's intention to adapt the entire sequence of novels represents some serious long term planning. It also reveals considerable faith in the quality of Martin’s writing and his ability to deliver. As it stands, only four books of a planned seven have been published. The first, A Game of Thrones, was published in 1996 and the fifth, A Dance with Dragons, was due to be released early this year but is still yet to hit bookshelves. Given the increasing amount of time between novels, it could be 2020 before Martin wraps up the series, and this could leave HBO twiddling its thumbs as it waits to film the final instalment.
On the other hand, let's only hope that the TV series is good enough to justify adapting the entire sequence of novels.
The pilot episode was written by David Benioff (Troy, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and D.B. Weiss and directed by the remarkably versatile Tom McCarthy. Perhaps best known as an actor, McCarthy is also an accomplished director (The Station Agent and The Visitor) and writer (nominated for this year's Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for the animated film Up). The cast for series one is impressive and includes Sean Bean (Lord of the Rings, Troy), Lena Headey (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, 300), Peter Dinklage (Prince Caspian) , Harry Lloyd (from the BBC Robin Hood series) and Mark Addy (A Knight's Tale and Tuck in Ridley Scott's Robin Hood).
In other news, HBO has unveiled a Game of Thrones website, and while it's a bit light on content at the moment, it does have a very short but evocative teaser:
Game of Thrones will premiere in 2011.
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