The Abandoned ‘Game Of Thrones’ Prequel Pilot Had A Higher Budget Than Any Episode Of The Original Series

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The final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones had a reported $90 million budget, or $15 million per episode. That’s a lot of money for a TV show. But spending $15 million on a series finale isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? $30 million on a series premiere.

In his new book, Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers, author James Andrew Miller spoke to former WarnerMedia entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt about what went wrong with the abandoned Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts, Naomi Ackie, and Miranda Richardson. HBO decided not to movie forward with the series, which would have been set during the “Age of Heroes,” because, well, it wasn’t working and it was too dang expensive. That’s not what you want from a TV show.

“They had spent over $30 million on a Game of Thrones prequel pilot that was in production when I got there,” Greenblatt said (via Insider). “And when I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to [HBO head Casey Bloys], ‘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.” He added, “So we unfortunately decided to pull the plug on it. There was enormous pressure to get it right and I don’t think that would have worked.”

That pilot was a bust, but HBO hasn’t given up on Game of Thrones: there’s a Targaryen-focused prequel coming out next year, and the Dunk and Egg show found its head writer in Patriot creator Steve Conrad.

(Via Insider)


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