The Game of Thrones prequel TV show will start filming early this summer, HBO has confirmed. Programming president Casey Bloys confirmed the production start time with Entertainment Weekly.
This matches up with the timeline that Bloys confirmed previously when he stated that the untitled prequel show was pegged to begin production in the first half of 2019.
Importantly, what’s being filmed is only the single pilot episodes; additional episodes have yet to be ordered. Jessica Jones director SJ Clarkson is directing the show, which will star Naomi Watts. X-Men: First Class’ Jane Goldman will serve as showrunner. Goldman created the concept for the show alongside writer George R.R. Martin. According to EW, while only one episode has been ordered so far, the writers are already working on more scripts for future episodes in the event that HBO decides to pick it up to become a series.
The show isn’t expected to air until at least a year after Game of Thrones ends, so that means it may not come out until 2020 or 2021. It’s also possible the show doesn’t get picked up to series.
While it’s yet to receive an official title, Martin suggested last year that it would be called The Long Night. He subsequently walked that back, perhaps due to pressure from HBO that didn’t want that name shared yet. In any event, it does provide some insight into what to expect.
Alongside Watts, January brought news on numerous additions to the cast. Characters haven’t been confirmed, but among the actors who will be involved are Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX), Toby Regbo (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Denise Gough (Angels in America), Ivanno Jeremiah (Black Mirror), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), and Alex Sharp (To the Bone).
Here is the official description for the new prequel show: “Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: 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… it’s not the story we think we know.”
In other news, HBO teamed up with Bud Light for a wacky Super Bowl commercial promoting both the beer and the final season of Game of Thrones. The eighth and final season premieres in April.