HBO developing four Game of Thrones spinoffs
“Game of Thrones” is closing in on its final two seasons, but HBO is not going to give up on Westeros.
The premium cable channel announced in a statement Thursday that it was developing scripts to spin off the series that will “explore different time periods of George R.R. Martin’s vast and rich universe.”
There are only 13 episodes left in HBO’s hit series, which the network is breaking up into two seasons — seven this year, and six next year.
For months, HBO has been in talks with Martin, the author of the “Game of Thrones” novels, about spinning off the story once the drama wraps up. There is a playbook for this: AMC rolled out a prequel, “Better Call Saul,” after its successful drama “Breaking Bad” went off the air in 2013.
It also qualifies as a no-brainer: “Game of Thrones” has won best drama Emmy each of the last two years, and it is, by far, the network’s most popular show. HBO draws revenue from subscriptions — both on cable and its digital-only offerings — and future seasons of “Thrones” will be catnip to subscribers who have signed up for the series.
Currently HBO has locked up deals with four writers who are each plumbing Martin’s books for scripts: Max Borenstein, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland and Carly Wray. Martin is working on scripts with Goldman and Wray. Other than Martin, none of the writers have written on “Thrones” before.
The show’s longtime executive producers, Dan Weiss and David Benioff, will be executive producers for any future spinoff shows but they will not be actively involved. “We will support them as they take a much deserved break from writing about Westeros once the final season is complete,” the network said in a statement.
HBO did not elaborate what period the four scripts would be exploring. It is also no guarantee that the scripts will pan out. The earliest a new season of “Thrones” could come would likely be 2019.