With the final season of Game of Thrones due next year, fans are starting to look ahead to the prequel shows that are in development at HBO. While there are few details about what these series will be about–or indeed how many there will be–it has been reported that the network is planning to spend a lot of money on them.
A panel of HBO executives recently spoke at a conference in Israel and revealed that the potential budget for the shows is going to way beyond what was spent on Game of Thrones when it first launched in 2011. “$50 million [per season] would never fly for what we are trying to do. We are going big,” senior VP of drama, Francesca Orsi said, via The Hollywood Reporter. “It feels like corporate malfeasance to not continue it.”
Orsi went on to say that the network was planning “three, four, five spin-offs.” In January, programming president Casey Bloys stated that although there were multiple shows in development, fans shouldn’t necessarily expect to see all of them reach the screen.
“I’ve seen some exciting material,” he said. “We have really great writers working on these. But there’s no timetable. Not everybody is on the same schedule, so I’ve seen different versions of different things. But there’s no timetable about when a decision would be made about any of them. I’ll do anywhere from zero to five, though probably more likely one. We’ll see.”
Last year, Game of Thrones creator George R.R. Martin stated that he was working on one of the potential spin-offs with the main show’s co-executive producer Bryan Cogman, and revealed that they were all prequels. “I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spin-off,” Martin said. “Bryan’s series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I’ll be working with him every step of the way; we’re going to be co-creating the show.”
The final season of Game of Thrones will be just six episodes long. Although we know it will arrive in 2019, a premiere date is yet to be announced. Seasons 1-6 all premiered in March or April on HBO, while Season 7 debuted last July. If HBO follows either of those premiere windows, that will mark over a year-and-a-half since the previous season ended, which will be the longest gap between seasons in the show’s entire run.