Naomi Watts’ ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel or how to throw 30 million in the trash

On a computer, hard drive or cloud there are two episodes of Game of Thrones They will never see the light of day There is the pilot episode that Tom McCarthy shot in 2009, in which the actress Tamzin Merchant played Daenerys (and not the definitive Emilia Clarke), and which finally had to be re-produced with a regular director from the house of HBO as Tim Van Patten. And then there’s the Naomi Watts prequel, which was supposed to be the first spinoff series. Game of Thrones and that it became one of the worst investments of the channel with 30 million dollars wasted.

Its working title was Bloodmon. It was written by Jane Goldman, known for the scripts of Kick-ass The Kingsman, and featured George RR Martin as executive producer. His mission was to tell the past of Westeros. “Set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series tells of the descent of the world from the Age of Heroes to its darkest hour “, read the press release of HBO when they reported the production of a pilot episode.

The directors of WarnerMedia and HBO saw that the filmed footage did not work and that there was no way to solve it

What were some of its attractions? Tell the secrets of that land such as the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the east or the legend of the Stark. Martin himself explained in interviews that the interest also lay in knowing a Westeros where King’s Landing did not even exist yet, nor did the Iron Throne, nor dragons soar through the skies. And, as little had been said of that era and of The long night That marked those who inhabited Westeros, Goldman had a lot of room for maneuver.

The director hired for the project was SJ Clarkson, who had worked at Jessica Jones, The Defenders or an episode of Succession. In June 2019, he began filming in Belfast with a cast led by Naomi Watts and which also included Georgie Henley, Miranda Richardson, John Simm and Naomi Ackie.

Naomi Watts has no luck with the series: she did the failed ‘Gypsy’ on Netflix and then her prequel to ‘Game of Thrones’ did not go ahead.

Netflix

Bob Greenblatt, who was then the president of WarnerMedia Entertainment, wanted a first season to be given the green light directly. “You cannot spend 30 million dollars on a pilot and then not buy the project,” he acknowledged to the portal. Insider. He had recommended to Casey Bloys, the president of programming for HBO, which would directly produce a full first season. But they changed their plans after seeing the results.

“This just doesn’t work and I don’t think it can deliver on the promise of the original series,” he told Bloys after seeing a first cut. He had been at WarnerMedia Entertainment for a few months and realized that he did not live up to what the public expected of the brand of Game of Thrones. So Game of thrones: Bloodmoon, which had previously been called Game of thrones: The Long Night, became a failed project with a price tag of 30 million dollars, which translates to 26.5 million euros.

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And is that this prequel to Game of Thrones had a problem controlling the budget. If David Benioff and DB Weiss were able to scale up production as they demonstrated HBO that garnered enviable audiences and critical attention, earning millions of dollars by hand, Bloodmoon should start with the same bill as the last seasons of Game of Thrones, when I had raised the level of epic and visual effects.

The project that did get the commission for a first season ended up being The dragon house, set three centuries before the events of Game of Thrones and that will narrate the Civil War of the Targaryen dynasty, seated on the Iron Throne. Screenwriter Ryan Condal will be the showrunner along with Miguel Sapochnik, the veteran director who has already directed key episodes of the original series such as The Battle of the Bastards.

The dragon house will be seen in HBO Max during 2022.

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Naomi Watts’ ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel or how to throw 30 million in the trash

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