The Television Critics Association press tour is always a juicy source of new information about the forthcoming season of Game of Thrones, and this year was no exception, with HBO programming president Casey Bloys repping the network yesterday and speaking about season 8 and the prequels to come.
When it comes to making the prequels, of which there are five currently in development, Bloys says, “I’ll do anywhere from zero to five!” and laughs. “Though probably more likely one. But we’ll see.”
He explains further, providing more of a timeline. “There are five of them. If we do a pilot and series, nothing is going to air on HBO until at least a year after the final season. We’re not doing a final season and then, ‘Following it at 11 p.m. … .’ I’ve seen some exciting material. We have really great writers working on these; it’s very exciting. But there’s no timetable. Not everybody is on the same schedule, so I’ve seen different versions of different things that are potentially exciting. But there’s no timetable about when a decision would be made about any of them.”
With the final season set to air in 2019, that means we won’t see a prequel show until at least 2020.
Speaking of Game of Thrones ending, Bloys knows how the show finishes. It comes up when talking spoilers. “It’s called a spoiler for a reason. If you read it, you’re going to miss out. I know how Game of Thrones ends and I’m still going to sit through it and think it’s the best ride ever. It comes from wanting the fans to have the best ride they can.” Sure sure, but some of us are still going to enjoy our spoilers!
As for episode length in season 8, that’s still unclear but he says the final episodes will all “air six in a row” and be broadcast “[o]n the air, for subscribers” as opposed to an IMAX release.
The episode length “really will be dependent on when the showrunners get the cuts and what they’re happy with. Everything on Game of Thrones is driven by their desire to make the best show possible. When we’re going to air, how long the episodes are — we’re taking their lead on what they need,” Bloys says.
As for season 8’s final six, the programming presidents proclaims, “They’re great. It’s fantastic. The fans are going to be very, very happy.” And when Game of Thrones finishes, that chapter is definitively over as far as Bloys is concerned.
When asked about revivals down the line, he says, “That’s not happening. This story, A Song of Fire and Ice, is done. There’s no revival, reboot, spinoff talk.”
Unless you count a prequel as a spinoff, I guess.