A journalist has revealed that a pilot was made for a Game of Thrones Prequel prior to House of the Dragon, but was pulled after spending a whopping $30 million.
Now, whether you loved or hated the controversial ending to Game of Thrones, you can’t deny the series was one of the greatest TV shows of all time…
So much so, that we were given a prequel! The House of the Dragon series is set a whopping 200 years before Game of Thrones and centres around the Targaryen family, adapted from George R.R. Martin’s 2018 book, Fire & Blood Vol. 1.
And for those of you that haven’t watched it, the show delves a little deeper into why the events of the final series played out the way they did.
A source told Variety early last year that they shelled out $20 million per episode on House of the Dragon, which is an extra $5 million an episode compared to the original.
But what you might not know, is that this wasn’t the only prequel, it was just the only one to make it past the pilot. Back in 2019, another Game of Thrones prequel was attempted by HBO, which was later turned down after they spent an eye-watering $30 million on the pilot episode.
This shocking news recently came to light thanks to the American investigative journalist James Andrew Miller, and his new book titled: Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers.
While doing research behind the hit show, he discovered that Bob Greenblatt, the former WarnerMedia chairman had submitted an idea for a prequel, but it later got shut down before it could air.
“They had spent over $30 million on a Game of Thrones prequel pilot that was in production when I got there,” he explained. “And when I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to Casey [Bloys, HBO’s chief content officer], ‘This just doesn’t work, and I don’t think it delivers on the promise of the original series.’ And he didn’t disagree, which actually was a relief.”
Greenblatt added, “there was enormous pressure to get it right and I don’t think that would have worked.” And after the widely criticised conclusion to HBO’s hit show Game Of Thrones, it’s understandable that there is a lot of pressure on any future projects to repair the franchise’s reputation.
“I’m the one who encouraged Casey to greenlight it to series,” Greenblatt said about House Of The Dragon. “I said, ‘Let’s not risk $30 million on a pilot.’ You can’t spend $30 million on a pilot and then not pick it up. So, I said, ‘Let’s not make a pilot. Let’s get a great series that we feel good about, and just make it. Or not.’”
The pilot didn’t make it out of the studio, and as per The Hollywood Reporter, even George R.R. Martin didn’t see it.
“It wasn’t unwatchable or horrible or anything,” said Greenblatt. “It was very well produced and looked extraordinary. But it didn’t take me to the same place as the original series. It didn’t have that depth and richness that the original series’ pilot did.”
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