HBO execs talk Game of Thrones final season, plans for big budget spinoffs

While participating on "The Best of HBO" panel in Jerusalem at the INTV Conference, HBO executives Francesca Orsi (SVP of drama), Casey Bloys (programming president), and David Levine (drama chief) were joined by moderator Marc Korman of WME for some detailed talks about what the future holds for the network's epic swords and sorcery program, GAME OF THRONES. As they chatted away, the group shared information about the show's upcoming final season, as well as what we can expect when the planned Thrones spinoffs make their debut.

Their talk started off with Orsi assuring everyone that GAME OF THRONES will have a very satisfying conclusion, upon coming to a close with its eighth and final season. To give the audience a sense of how the finale has landed for the show's cast and crew, Orsi recalled her time spent during a recent table read, wherein the main cast read aloud through scripts of the last six episodes.

“It was amazing,” Orsi said. “By the very end, everyone looked down and looked up and tears were in their eyes … None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started falling down to their deaths.”

It sounds like things are going to get mighty intense as GAME OF THRONES reaches its bloody end. As of the moment, I'm still hoping that we get a Stark children and Mother of Dragons team-up for the win. How do you think Cersei Lannister will get it, in the end? Who will be the final one to sit atop the Iron Throne, before the closing credits roll for the last time? I have so many questions, as I'm positive that you do as well.

As the event continued on, talk of the GAME OF THRONES prequels began. In listening to the discussion, it appears that HBO is currently reading through five different scripts, with one of them soon to be granted a series order. “It feels like corporate malfeasance to not continue it,” Orsi remarked. “That’s why it spawned three, four, five spin-offs* … We’re going big.”

Orsi then spoke briefly about how the prequels will be given a substantial budget right out of the gate, as HBO is not effing around when it comes to telling more stories (and selling more merchandise) from their fan-favorite fantasy series. “If we do take off on one of these Game of Thrones spin-offs, where do we start?” Orsi commented. “We can’t obviously start with the budget of season 8 but would it be a Game of Thrones season 3 budget?”

Hey, go big or go home, right? It feels like a wise an obvious move for HBO to swing for the fences when it comes to launching these spinoff shows. The fan base is already there, and so long as the new programs are quality, I would bet Ned Stark's severed head that audiences will wait out any winter that can be thrown at them for more GOT-related adventures.

What would you like to see from the GAME OF THRONES spinoffs? Do you have any ideas of your own? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section below, if you want.

GAME OF THRONES will return for its eighth and final season sometime in 2019.

Source: Variety



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