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HBO has cast Naomi Watts to star in the Game of Thrones prequel

After an arduous search and extensive negotiation processes, MULHOLLAND DR. and KING KONG actor Naomi Watts has been cast to lead HBO's upcoming GAME OF THRONES prequel pilot, from KINGSMAN franchise and and KICK-ASS scribe Jane Goldman and Game of Thrones author and TV series co-executive producer George R.R. Martin.

The long-gestating project for the untitled prequel is said to take place thousands of years before the battle for the Iron Throne, as chronicled by HBO's award-winning swords and sorcery drama, GAME OF THRONES. The newest story from Goldman and Martin is said to highlight the departure from the Golden Age of Heroes, when an looming darkness consumed some of the world's greatest warriors. Make no mistake that when the new series arrives, only one thing is certain: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.

In addition to co-writing the new series, Goldman will also serve as the exciting new project's showrunner, as well as an executive producer alongside Martin, GAME OF THRONES co-executive producer Vince Gerardis, and DAMAGES and BLOODLINE creator Daniel Zelman. Meanwhile, BBC Studios executive James Farrell and Jim Danger Gray (HANNIBAL) will executive produce with Chris Symes (THE ALIENIST) acting as co-executive producer.

Back in July, HBO President of programming Casey Bloys told Deadline that “There are very strong female characters but it’s an ensembles, there is men and women,” he said. “Jane is a very good writer, we don’t want to limit her to writing female leads. There are a lot of very complicated leads in (the pilot).”

As previously reported, no actors or characters featured in HBO's current GAME OF THRONES series will appear in the prequel. “It’s a very different setting, a very different time in Westeros, It will feel different but still Game of Thrones,” said Bloys, which has fans wondering about the factions, magic, and mystical locales of the upcoming series. After all, thousands of years is a major jump to past events, and there's no telling what manner of dark and sinister forces were looming in the darkness back then. Hold onto your butts, my friends, because we're poised to enter a whole new kingdom where the nights are still dark and full of terror.

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