Not a Blog

Shae and Sibel

June 16, 2019 at 5:36 pm
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Never judge a book by its cover, or an actor by the character he or she portrays.

Most of you only know Sibel Kekilli for her portrayal of Shae in HBO’s GAME OF THRONES.   In her native Germany, of course, Sibel is recognized for a wide variety of other roles, including a long stint on the popular police procedural TATORT, the German LAW & ORDER.  She is also a two-time winner of the Lola Award (the German Oscar) for Best Actress for her starring roles in WHEN WE LEAVE and HEAD-ON.

Sibel is more than just a gifted actress, however.   She is a kind and gentle and compassionate person as well, one that I am proud to know… and she is a woman of rare courage.  In these dark and highly politicized times, when the safest course for any public figure is silence and smiles, Sibel has never hesitated to speak her mind, giving of her time, her money, and her fame to help others.   Every time she speaks up, she subjects herself to another flood of abuse, slurs, death threats, and the like… but she persists, nonetheless.

Sibel Kekilli is a true hero.

She has worked for years for Terre des Femmes, fighting violence against women all around the world.

Terre des Femmes

Now Sibel has a new venture: working with PAPATYA to rescue girls (from the ages of 13 to 21) threatened with forced child marriages and abductions.  Sibel has recently used her own funds to buy computers for the girls.   She’s also lent her support to an on-line counseling site, SIBEL ( named after her character from HEAD-ON) to offer advice and help to those who need it.

Homepage

She has my admiration and support.  I hope she has yours as well.

 

Current Mood: determined determined

An Ending

May 20, 2019 at 8:41 pm
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The last night, the last show.   After eight epic seasons, HBO’s GAME OF THRONES series has come to an end.

It is hard to believe it is over, if truth be told.   The years have gone past in the blink of an eye.  Can it really have been more than a decade since my manager Vince Gerardis set up a meeting at the Palm in LA, and I sat down for the first time with David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for a lunch that lasted well past dinner?  I asked them if they knew who Jon Snow’s mother was.   Fortunately, they did.

That was how it started.  It ended last night.

I had no clue, that afternoon at the Palm, that I was about to embark on a journey that would change my life.   I had optioned books and stories for television and film before.  Some had even been made   There was no way to know that this one was going to be different, that this pilot would not only be shot,  but would go on to become the most successful show in the history of HBO, win a record number of Emmy Awards, become the most popular (and most pirated) show in the world, and transform a group of talented but largely unknown actors into major celebrities and stars.   Even less did I imagine that I would somehow become a celebrity as well… and if truth be told, I’m still not sure how that happened.

It has been a wild ride, to say the least.

I want to thank people, but there are so many.   There were forty-two cast members at the season eight premiere in New York City, and that wasn’t even all of them.   And the crew, though less visible than the cast, were no less important.  We had some amazing people working on this show, as all those Emmys bear witness.   David & Dan assembled a championship team.   The directors were incredible as well.   I should start naming names, but then I’d miss someone, there were so many.   But I do need to mention David Benioff, Dan Weiss, Bryan Cogman (the third head of the dragon, as I said in the recent VANITY FAIR piece about him), and of course the great team at HBO, headed by Richard Plepler.   Any other network, and GAME OF THRONES would not have been what it became.  Most other networks, this series never gets made at all.

I could go on and on… and have, as I’ve been writing this post in my head… but there’s really too much to say.   Parting is such sweet sorrow, the Bard wrote.  In the weeks and months to come, I may post about some of my favorite moments from the making of this show… now and again, when I am feeling nostalgic… but just now, there are so many memories, and no time to do them all justice.

Let me say this much — last night was an ending, but it was also a beginning.   Nobody is retiring any time soon.   David and Dan are going on to STAR WARS and other projects beyond that.   Amazon scooped up Bryan Cogman, and put him to work on developing shows of his own, as well as helping out on their big Tolkien project.   Our brilliant cast has scattered to the four winds, but you’ll be seeing a lot of them in the years to come, in all manner of television shows and movies.   Our directors are keeping busy as well.   I suspect that you have not seen the last of Westeros on your television sets either, but I guess that all depends on how some of these successor shows turn out.

And me?  I’m still here, and I’m still busy.    As a producer, I’ve got five shows in development at HBO (some having nothing whatsoever to do with the world of Westeros), two at Hulu, one on the History Channel.   I’m involved with a number of feature projects, some based upon my own stories and books, some on material created by others.   There are these short films I am hoping to make, adaptations of classic stories by one of the most brilliant, quirky, and original writers our genre has ever produced.   I’ve consulted on a video game out of Japan.   And then there’s Meow Wolf…

And I’m writing.   Winter is coming, I told you, long ago… and so it is.   THE WINDS OF WINTER is very late, I know, I know, but it will be done.  I won’t say when, I’ve tried that before, only to burn you all and jinx myself… but I will finish it, and then will come A DREAM OF SPRING.

How will it all end? I hear people asking.   The same ending as the show?  Different?

Well… yes.  And no.  And yes.   And no.   And yes.   And no.   And yes.

I am working in a very different medium than David and Dan, never forget.   They had six hours for this final season.   I expect these last two books of mine will fill 3000 manuscript pages between them before I’m done… and if more pages and chapters and scenes are needed, I’ll add them.   And of course the butterfly effect will be at work as well; those of you who follow this Not A Blog will know that I’ve been talking about that since season one.   There are characters who never made it onto the screen at all, and others who died in the show but still live in the books… so if nothing else, the readers will learn what happened to Jeyne Poole, Lady Stoneheart, Penny and her pig, Skahaz Shavepate, Arianne Martell, Darkstar, Victarion Greyjoy, Ser Garlan the Gallant, Aegon VI, and a myriad of other characters both great and small that viewers of the show never had the chance to meet.   And yes, there will be unicorns… of a sort…

Book or show, which will be the “real” ending?   It’s a silly question.   How many children did Scarlett O’Hara have?

How about this?  I’ll write it.   You read it.  Then everyone can make up their own mind, and argue about it on the internet.

 

 

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

The Regular-Sized Council Meets

April 14, 2019 at 9:33 am
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Current Mood: mischievous mischievous

Cookies Are Coming

April 10, 2019 at 9:16 am
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When winter comes, what’s better than a glass of milk and some nice cookies?

GAME OF THRONES Oreos now on sale at your local supermarket.

No, really.

It is NOT April 1.

Current Mood: amused amused

Season Eight Approaches

March 7, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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The eighth and final season of HBO’s GAME OF THRONES will be upon us in April.

HBO has just released a new trailer.

Enjoy.

Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

SuperBowl Shocker

February 5, 2019 at 11:14 am
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This year’s SuperBowl kind of sucked, but as ever the commercials were fun — especially the Bud Light commercial.   No one was more surprised — and delighted — by the twist it took than I was.

Here’s an extended version:

Now that we’ve taken care of the Bud Knight, we need to send some dragons after Colonel Sanders and the Energized Bunny, I’m thinking.

Current Mood: surprised surprised

Season 8 Is Coming

January 17, 2019 at 6:51 am
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HBO has announced the premiere date for the eighth (and final) season of GAME OF THRONES.

Mark it down on your calendars: APRIL 14.

There’s a new teaser too (and a longer trailer in the works):

Current Mood: excited excited

The Creators

October 18, 2018 at 6:06 am
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Funko Pop has just rolled out a new boxed set for collectors of GAME OF THRONES figures.

Not the characters this time.   The writers.   Me, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss.

They’re calling it The Creators.

 

I suspect that this is the only time I will ever be as tall as David Benioff.

Current Mood: amused amused

HBO Greenlights Goldman Pilot

June 11, 2018 at 9:02 am
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There’s a lot happening these days, so much that some days it feels as if I cannot even keep up with my own life.   So let me beg your indulgence for being late to the party with this news — but, yes, it is true, after more than a year of development, HBO has greenlit the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor shows that we’ve been working on, scripted by the amazing Jane Goldman.

Everybody else has already broken the news, so there’s no sense in me just rehashing.  You can read all about here:

https://www.newsarama.com/40289-hbo-greenlights-game-of-thrones-prequel-series-report.html

or here

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/video/hbo-moves-forward-pilot-order-untitled-game-thrones-prequel-thr-news-1118608

or in half a hundred other places.   Pick the news outlet you like best,

To clarify, what we have here is a pilot order, not as yet a series order.   Though of course we are all hoping that will follow.

Yes, this is a prequel, not a sequel.   None of the characters or actors from GAME OF THRONES will appear in the new show.   All of the successor shows we’ve been developing have been prequels, as I have mentioned before.   This one really puts the PRE in prequel, since it is set not ninety years before GAME OF THRONES (like Dunk & Egg), or a few hundred years, but rather ten thousand years (well, assuming the oral histories of the First Men are accurate, but there are maesters at the Citadel who insist it has only been half that long).   We’re very early in the process, of course, with the pilot order just in, so we don’t have a director yet, or a cast, or a location, or even a title.   (My vote would be THE LONG NIGHT, which says it all, but I’d be surprised if that’s where we end up.  More likely HBO will want to work the phrase “game of thrones” in there somewhere.  We’ll know sooner or later).

We do have a showrunner: Jane Goldman, who penned the pilot script.

All of the news stories about the pilot being greenlit are slapping my own picture up there next to Jane’s, which is very flattering but also a little misleading Remember, they also slapped my picture up on the news stories about the TV development of Nnedi Okarafor’s WHO FEARS DEATH, when they should have been using Nnedi’s picture. I’ve consulted with all of the writers on all of the successor shows, and several of them have visited me in Santa Fe for long days of discussion, and we’ve gone back and forth in email, text, and telephone, so I have definitely been involved… but really, the accolades here should go to Jane.   She has been an absolute thrill to work with… and my god, what a talent.

Those of you who are fans of not just GAME OF THRONES, but of television, film, and sf and fantasy in the broader sense are already well familiar with her work, whether you know it or not.   She’s wrote the KINGSMEN movies, scripted one X-MEN film and did the story for another, did the screenplay for the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s STARDUST, and for the superhero satire KICKASS as well.   Among lots of other credits.  Oh, and she’s written the script for Disney’s forthcoming live action version of THE LITTLE MERMAID too.   Can’t wait for that one.

I will try to keep you all informed as work progresses on the new show (whatever we end up calling it)… though, given the amount of stuff I am trying to juggle right now, news will probably break on a dozen other places before I get around to it, as happened here.

As for the other successor shows… if you have been following along, you know that we started with four, and eventually went to five.   One of those has been shelved, I am given to understand, and of course Jane’s pilot is now moving to film.   But that does not mean the others are dead.   Three more GAME OF THRONES prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development.   Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come.   We do have an entire world and tens of thousands of years of history to play with, after all.   But this is television, so nothing is certain.

(Oh, and WHO FEARS DEATH is moving along well too, and I am very excited about that one as well.  Selwyn Seyfu Hinds did a terrific job with his first draft of the pilot, based on Nnedi’s novel).

(And yes, before you ask, work on WINDS OF WINTER continues, and remains my top priority.   It is ridiculous to think otherwise.   If I wasn’t busy with WINDS, don’t you think I’d be scripting one or more of these pilots myself?  It’s not as if I’ve never written for TV… )

So cross your fingers and your toes, fantasy fans.   Some good stuff is coming.   And let’s have a round of applause for Jane Goldman.

 

 

Current Mood: excited excited

Run Fast, Jon Snow

October 18, 2017 at 12:38 pm
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Jon Snow is running in the Melbourne Cup.

Or so my Aussie friends inform me.

https://www.justhorseracing.com.au/melbourne-cup/

For those who don’t live Down Under, the Melbourne Cup is the biggest horse race in Australia, and one of the biggest in the world. Like our Kentucky Derby, but much much older.

Phar Lap won it once.

Can Jon Snow do the same?

Current Mood: amused amused