Current Mood: mischievous
I have a love/ hate relationship with Los Angeles.
I spent a lot of time there back in the 80s and 90s, when I was on TWILIGHT ZONE and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and in the years that followed, when I was in development hell. A good decade, all told. At least three of those years were spent on the 405, I seem to recall… but in any case, I have lots of good memories of LA, and some bad memories as well. I made lots of friends out there. And even now, my work requires me to visit the City of Angels (which seems less angelic every day, if you’re reading the news) several times a year.
Those visits are usually mixed bags. I do business, which is necessary. Sometimes I come home with awards, which is great. I check in on old friends, always a pleasure (though all of us get older every year). From time to time I make new friends, always a joy. But I hate driving in LA even more than I did in the 90s, if that is possible, and the weather is usually beastly. So bloody hot and humid I don’t know how anyone can stand it. Then, of course, there are the meetings. Some are fun, some are not. Even the best meetings, it seems, seldom lead to anything real.
Last week, however, I had a great visit to LA. The weather, for once, was gorgeous. Not too hot, not too humid, beautiful blue skies, stunning sunsets.
When I wasn’t gazing out over the city from the balcony of my room at the Four Seasons, I was having meetings. HBO meetings, for the most part… exciting stuff, and they all went well… and meetings with some major film studios as well, about possible adaptions of some of my other work. All very exciting. Cross your fingers, cross your toes, I might have thrilling news down the line.
I also got to check in with some of those old friends I mentioned. One of the highlights was the dinner I shared with some of the folks I worked with on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
The whole gang could not be there, but we did gather (from left to right) Linda Campanelli (writer), Jay Acovone (Joe Maxwell), Ron Koslow (creator, showrunner), yours truly (writer/ producer), Ron Perlman (Vincent), and David Schwartz (producer). It was a grand gathering. We told some stories and shared some laughs, and of course we all lifted a glass to the memory of Roy Dotrice, our Father… who made it to 94, and still died way too young.
It was an honor to work on BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and I’m proud of the work we did there.
((Comments permitted, if you STAY ON TOPIC))
Current Mood: calm
… GAME OF THRONES successor shows, that is.
Truth be told, we’ve had five scripts in various stages of development for months. Which I believe I mentioned…
But now at last all the deals are signed, and it can be told. BRYAN COGMAN has come on board to pen the fifth of the successor shows. James Hibberd broke the news on ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY.
Bryan Cogman should need no introduction for any GAME OF THRONES fan. He’s been part of the show since the beginning… since before the beginning, actually, since he was first hired as assistant to David Benioff and D.B Weiss way before the series got on the air, before even the pilot had been filmed. From those humble beginnings, he advanced to staff writer, to story editor, to co-producer and producer and supervising producer. Less formally, he has also been GOT’s “Keeper of the Lore,” the guy who knew the canon better than anyone (except me, though sometimes I am not even sure of that). He’s written more episodes of GAME OF THRONES than anyone but Dan & David… including some of our very best ones. If D&D have been the kings of Westeros for these past seven seasons, Bryan Cogman has surely been the Prince of Dragonstone.
I’d love to tell you more about the series Bryan will be working on… but we haven’t done that for the other four successor shows, so we shouldn’t for this one either. All in good time.
I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spinoff. 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.
Meanwhile, Jane Goldman, Brian Helgeland, Max Borenstein, and Carly Wray are all at work on the other four successor shows. I’ve been working with them as well (some more closely than others), and I’m excited by some of the ideas they’re coming up with. HBO should have a wealth of material to choose from. (And that’s not even counting the four weird-ass series concepts I’ve come up on my own, just for the hell of it. There are eight million stories in the naked city, and maybe ten times as many in Westeros and the lands beyond the narrow seas).
You should not expect to see all five shows, though, at least not immediately.. much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the GAME OF THRONES network… but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020… and the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope. Then again, maybe… but I should not speculate, you folks get WAY too excited. Truth is, no one knows. Least of all me.
For now, suffice it to say that Bryan Cogman has signed on, and we’re thrilled.
Current Mood: bouncy
We’ve found our scriptwriter for WHO FEARS DEATH, the television series we’re developing for HBO based on the award-winning novel by Nnedi Okorafor.
His name is SELWYN SEYFU HINDS. He’s written television, film, comics, journalism, history. He’s a producer as well, and will be a co-executive producer on WHO FEARS DEATH, as well as writing the pilot. We’re very excited to have him aboard… and to finally be able to announce it, now that his deal has closed (these things take a while).
You can find out more about him on IMDB, or hear him speak (though not about WHO FEARS DEATH, not yet) here: http://www.blackisonline.com/2015/02/the-jam-ep-15-w-selwyn-seyfu-hinds/
It was not an easy selection. We considered dozens of terrific writers, finally winnowed it down to half a dozen strong finalists, and interviewed each of them at length. I was not able to be in LA for the interviews myself, thoughI took part by phone… but executive producers Michael Lombardo and Angela Mancuso, our development executives from HBO, and of course Nnedi Okorafor were all in the room for every interview. All of us loved what Selwyn had to say about WHO FEARS DEATH, and how he would like to bring it to the screen. It’s a powerful book, but not an easy adaptation by any means… but we think we’ve found the right writer for the assignment.
I was also pleased to see Michael Lombardo and Angela Mancuso finally credited in the news stories about Selwyn and WHO FEARS DEATH, since the last round of stories made it sound as if I was doing it all by myself. Even now, though, some of these stories are getting it backwards, talking about how I “added” Lombardo and Mancuso. Ah, no… rather, they (and Nnedi) added me. This was their project from the start, I’m the new guy in the boat. But I’m thrilled to be here, and I’m excited to be working with Michael, Angela, Nnedi, and now Selwyn. We all share the same goal: to make this extraordinary novel into an extraordinary television series.
((I will leave comments open, but only for discussion of WHO FEARS DEATH. All off topic comments will be deleted)).
Current Mood: excited