ASOIAF on HBO: It's a go!

This from The Hollywood Reporter:

HBO has given a pilot order to the fantasy project "Game of Thrones."

The program is based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling "A Song of Fire & Ice" series of novels and executive produced by David Benioff ("Troy"), D.B. Weiss ("Halo") and Guymon Casady. The title "Game of Thrones" is from the first novel in the series.

If it gets an episodic order, "Thrones" would represent the rarest of TV genres: a full-fledged fantasy series.

Although broadcasters have embraced sci-fi-tinged shows in recent years following the success of ABC's "Lost" and NBC's "Heroes," and supernatural themes have been given a spin by the CW's "Supernatural" and HBO's own "True Blood," high fantasy is nearly nonexistent in primetime TV history -- and "Thrones" is an unabashed member of the genre. The books have swords, dragons, magic, the works.

"Fantasy is the most successful genre in terms of feature films given the incredible popularity of the 'Lord of the Rings' and 'Harry Potter' movies," Benioff said. "High fantasy has never been done on TV before, and if anybody can do it, it's HBO. They've taken tired genres and reinvented them -- mobsters in 'The Sopranos' and Westerns with 'Deadwood.' "

The cost of producing a fantasy series is usually a factor that deters networks. The producers note that "Thrones" is written as a character drama and major battles often take place offstage."

It's not a story with a million orcs charging across the plains," Weiss said. "The most expensive effects are creature effects, and there's not much of that."

Martin plans seven books. If HBO picks up the project to series, the producers intend for each novel to encompass a season.

But before the series can get on the air, the producers first have to slay a threat more formidable than any dragon: pilot competitors. HBO has 10 other pilots in contention for series orders. Though the network declines to project how many shows will receive an order since HBO doesn't need to fill a specific number of time periods as do broadcasters, at least six are expected to get a pickup.

Also, the success of "True Blood" may work in "Thrones' " favor. HBO has always sought to defy any sort of specific genre branding for its network, emphasizing that each project is judged on its own merits. Yet given how the vampire drama continues to gain viewers and how Showtime's swords-and-monarchy historical drama "The Tudors" has performed, it's not unreasonable to believe the network may see "Thrones" as a good fit.

Previous fantasy titles on TV are few and far between. ABC's "Pushing Daisies" might qualify as a member of the genre, though its fantastical elements are wrapped in a modern-day crime procedural. ABC Family's "Kyle XY" could fit. Some would consider the WB's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" fantasy, though supernatural drama is probably a more appropriate term. Former syndicated program "Xena: Warrior Princess," however, is firmly in the genre, and NBC's upcoming "Kings" also qualifies.

Martin fans rejoice!;-)

15 commentaires:

Adam Whitehead said...

This is obviously excellent news. HBO and ASoIaF go together very well. I was pondering if they could handle all the characters and their numerous, separate storylines, then I watched HBO's THE WIRE and relaxed. They can pull this off.

Unknown said...

This is great news. I'm only concerned that it will get the Deadwood/Carnivale treatment and leave us all hanging.

Anonymous said...

Please, please, please.

This is the best news of the day.

Anonymous said...

I wonder how long it will take for the tv show to catch up with GRRM actually writing the books.

Anonymous said...

Hehehe I was thinking the same thing. If they do a book per season, one season a year... depending on how you count Storm of Swords (released in two volumes - at least in the UK) HBO would catch up to the end of "A Dance with Dragons" potentially in 5-6 years. At the current rate the books are being released and assuming he doesn't split the next book into separate projects HBO would have caught him up some time around the release of the next book "The Winds of Winter", which may leave us waiting from 2014/15 to 2018/19 until the final book and series... damn I could be 33 by the time he finishes this series! I started reading it at 15!

Anonymous said...

In view of this I think we should perhaps confine him to wherever he writes the most productively and not let him out until he's done!

Anonymous said...

I agree with what Shane said. If they're planning 7 seasons, I have my doubts that it will see all 7 because of the way they went all Fox on Deadwood.

Anonymous said...

HBO is amazing. If you haven't already, watch Rome!

The first three books would translate very well to the big screen.

I'm quite excited as HBO has an excellent reputation with pushing boundaries so you can almost guarantee we will have something that's true to the source material, and with shows like the sopranos already up you can definitely guarantee calling the show "Knights that say Fuck" wont be a problem :D

TempestBrewer said...

Life is magical and full of joy!

Been waiting for this news since HBO first optioned the series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for John Rhys Davies for Robert Baratheon?

Anonymous said...

I'm as excited as the next Martin fan, but there's a bit of hyperbole here. For example, I'd argue that superhero flicks have fantasy soundly beat as "most successful genre in terms of feature films". LOTR and HP have done well, but every additional attempt since 2001 has failed to launch a similarly successful fantasy sequence (Narnia had a good start but the 2nd movie failed, at least by comparison). I think what gives Martin series a fighting chance is that he downplays the fantastical elements in the first novel quite a bit; if that carries over to the show, it'll help. And no mention here of the Goodkind project among the competition and genre examples.

Unknown said...

Well this is a much more deserving series than Sword of Truth (Or should I say Legend of the Seeker? I don't know which is a worse title).
If it goes on we can look forward to HBO catching up to GRRM then pressuring him to release his next novel so that they can make another season.

Unknown said...

Can't wait to see this...

Shawn C. Speakman said...

Cecrow, it's not what fantasy elements are in the movies; it's how the movies are made. If true passion goes into making the movies the movie going populace embraces it. That's why LOTR did so well; a man with passion for the material helmed the director's chair. The other movies you are talking about lack that personal, passionate vision.

Then you look at Nolan, who loves Batman. You look at Favreau, who loves Iron Man. You look at Raimi, who loves Spider-Man. These men love the characters as well as understand cinema. We haven't had both of those in the fantasy movie genre with the exception of maybe two movies -- Excalibur and LOTR.

The super-hero movies have gotten the right director talent; the fantasy genre has NOT had the right director talent. Fairly simple.

If HBO gives the Martin series the same attention to detail as they gave Rome and Deadwood, we'll be in for something special. That all depends on who directs and writes the series, of course, and NOT who watches it. If something is done well, people come to IT.

So I don't think it has to do with the movie going populace rejecting fantasy as a movie subject. I just don't think they've been given something special yet other than LOTR.

Anonymous said...

@ Shawn:

"If something is done well, people come to IT."

This is something that is sadly and evidently understood by very few film studios!

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with Shawn. And disagree with Maurice. Studios know damn too well. You obviouslly are refering here to demographics. I am for example a very specific demografic. I like rome but love Dexter or House instead and enjoy Heroes (although fading rapidly on the last one). I never liked the sopranos and cannot stomack what they did with 24 and Lost, which had terrific first seasons and then - to my very personal view - lost the plot. However, from much I can read here and in in other sites, Lost seems to be a success by many and 24 too. Here in Norway, Rome, Dexter, House and Heroes are in one Network, whilst Sopranos, Lost, all the CSIs and 24were on another. They got me totally, as was their job to do. I am sure even "leyend of the seeker" will be a "best show ever" for many (ja, I know, living in 3.5 million pple country sques a little the definition of "many" ;p).