HBO, vastly aware that the end is near for juggernaut Game of Thrones, is looking to the franchise's future.
The premium cable network is teaming with four writers — as well as creator George R.R. Martin — to develop four different potential follow-up series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Each of the four projects will explore different time periods of Martin's sprawling world of Westeros. It's unclear where any of the four fall in the show's universe — meaning they could be prequels, sequels or spinoffs.
The four takes are being written by Max Borenstein; Jane Goldman and Martin; Brian Helgeland; and Carly Wray and Martin. Of the four writers, none have any current ties to the HBO fantasy drama. Game of Thrones showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff are not currently attached to write on any of the four efforts. The duo, however, will serve as executive producers on any of the four takes that move forward. Martin will serve in the same capacity as well. Weiss and Benioff are finishing up the seventh season of Thrones — set to bow July 16 — and are in the midst of writing and preparing for the eighth and final season of the fantasy drama series. Both will continue to be kept in the loop in all things Thrones.
For now, the four projects are in the development stage. There is no timetable for any of them as HBO wants to get the follow-up to Thrones — its highest-rated and most valuable franchise in its history — right. The cabler will evaluate what they have when all the scripts are in and then make decisions.
For his part, HBO programming president Casey Bloys told THR in September that he would love to find a way to see the franchise continue. "There are so many properties and areas to go to," he said. "For us, it's about finding the right take with the right writer."
Here's a closer look at the four writers:
His credits include writing the screenplay for Kong: Skull Island and 2014's Godzilla. On the TV side, he was the showrunner and creator of Fox's short-lived Minority Report reboot, which marks his lone small-screen credit. Borenstein next is readying Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) and Godzilla vs. Kong (2020). He is repped by UTA.
Goldman's credits include writing the screenplay for Neil Gaiman's Stardust as well as adapting comic favorite Kick-Ass. Her geek cred includes X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kingsman: The Golden Circle. She is repped by WME.
The feature scribe counts writing and directing Jackie Robinson biopic 42 as well as Tom Hardy vehicle Legend. He penned the story and screenplay for 2010's Robin Hood and wrote The Taking of Pelham 123. Helgeland is an Oscar winner for his adapted screenplay for L.A. Confidential and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2003 for adapting Mystic River. He is repped by CAA.
Wray has the most extensive TV credits out of all four scribes and counts Mad Men, The Bastard Executioner and HBO's The Leftovers among them. She is repped by WME.
With Thrones' endgame in sight — the final two seasons will consist of a total of 15 episodes combined — the pressure is on HBO to deliver another breakout ongoing scripted drama. The cabler this season is saying farewell to critical darling The Leftovers, which is far from a broad breakout hit. On the drama side, HBO's programming roster includes the upcoming David Simon porn drama The Deuce and Marti Noxon's Sharp Objects as well as Westworld and the forthcoming Succession. The cabler is also readying another season of True Detective and mulling potential follow-up seasons of limited dramas The Night Of and Big Little Lies.
Keep track of all things Game of Thrones at THR.com/GameOfThrones.