These Not A Blog updates all seem to be turning into giant grab bags. Things pile up, and I am way too busy to blog more often, so I find myself with a lot to cover every time I have a spare moment.
I don’t really have a spare moment today, truth be told, but I am making one, since the news has broken about the Jon Snow development and I am being deluged with requests for comment. So….
Yes, there is a Jon Snow show in development. The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER story was largely correct. And I would expect no less from James Hibberd. I have dealt with a lot of reporters over the past few years, and Hibberd is one of the very best, an actual journalist who does all the things journalists are supposed to do (getting the facts right, talking to sources, respecting requests for “background only” and “off the record,” etc) that most of the clickbait sites never bother with.
Our working title for the show is SNOW.
There are four live-action successor shows in development at HBO. Word got out about three of them some time ago. TEN THOUSAND SHIPS, the Nymeria show, helmed by Amanda Segel. SEA SNAKE, aka NINE VOYAGES, with Bruno Heller. And the Dunk & Egg show, THE HEDGE KNIGHT or KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, with Steve Conrad writing. I think some of these were officially announced; in other cases, news leaked out. (These things always seem to leak. There are so many people involved, writers, producers, agents, and everyone has assistants, and there is always the guy who runs the xerox machine, and reporters have sources, and people gossip, so… ) SNOW has been in development almost as long as the other three, but for whatever reason it was never announced and it never leaked… until now.
But, yes, it is true. This was not an official announcement from HBO, so it seems there was another leak. I did a long interview with James Hibberd last week, for the big HOUSE OF THE DRAGON story that HOLLYWOOD REPORTER is planning. At the end of the call, he asked a few questions about the spinoffs. “Is it possible one of the spinoffs is a sequel rather than a prequel?” he asked. I answered “No comment.” Then he asked “Is it possible a member of the original cast is attached?” And again I answered “No comment.” And that was all. But plainly he found someone more forthcoming than me. Who? I don’t know, and suspect I never will. A good journalist protects his sources.
There’s not much more I can tell you, not until HBO gives me a green light.
It seems as though Emilia Clarke has already mentioned that SNOW was Kit’s idea in a recent interview. So that part is out. Yes, it was Kit Harrington who brought the idea to us. I cannot tell you the names of the writers/ showrunners, since that has not been cleared for release yet… but Kit brought them in too, his own team, and they are terrific.
Various rumors are floating around about my involvement, or lack of same. I am involved, just as I am with THE HEDGE KNIGHT and THE SEA SNAKE and TEN THOUSAND SHIPS, and all the animated shows. Kit’s team have visited me here in Santa Fe and worked with me and my own team of brilliant, talented writer/ consultants to hammer out the show.
All four of these successor shows are still in the script stage. Outlines and treatments have been written and approved, scripts have been written, notes have been given, second and third drafts have been written. So far, that’s all. This is the way television works. Please note: nothing has been green lit yet, and there is no guarantee when or if it will be… on any of these shows. The likelihood of all four series getting on the air… well, I’d love it, but that’s not the way it works, usually.
There are all sorts of reasons pilots never get picked up to series, all sorts of reasons scripts never got shot as pilots, all sorts of reasons great treatments never get sent to script. That’s the way the business works. I learned that a long time ago, during my first go-round in television. BLACK CLUSTER. STARPORT. THE SURVIVORS. DOORWAYS. FADEOUT. Those were just a few of my stillborn children from those years. I mourn them still. This is a new day, though, so… here is hoping one or two or three or all four of the GOT spinoffs make it to air.
That’s all I can tell you about SNOW just now. If HBO says I can tell you more, I will…
On other fronts…
If I may permitted a moment of snark, damn, but those clickbait websites and podcasts annoy me. I did a long interview with THE INDEPENDENT in connection with the recent Santa Fe Literary Festival (which was a great success, by the way), in the course of which I remarked that the whole “battle of the fantasy giants” stories about HOUSE OF THE DRAGON and RINGS OF POWER being in competition was wrong, that there was plenty of room for both shows to succeed, plenty of room for more fantasy and SF on television. Somehow three-quarters of the clickbait sites out there, ignoring the entire thrust of my comments, twisted my words on their head into headlines about how much I want to beat the Tolkien show.
Let me clarify. I have a competitive nature, sure. When I watch the Jets or the Giants or the Mets, I want them to win. When I am nominated for a Hugo or a Nebula or an Emmy, I want to win that too… but I know that just being nominated is a huge honor. Hey, I have won my share of awards, but I have lost a LOT more than I ever won. It was your truly, back in 1976, who founded the Hugo Losers Party with my friend Gardner Dozois, and coined our slogan, “It is a proud and lonely thing to be a Hugo loser.” I try to keep this all in proportion. I expect I will be watching RINGS OF POWER when it premieres. I want it to be great. I want it to run for many years, to win Emmys and Golden Globes. And I want the same for HOUSE OF THE DRAGON. Regardless of awards, I want both shows to find an appreciative audience, and give them great television. Great fantasy. The more fantasy hits we have, the more great fantasy we are likely to get. I want to see Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser on television. I want someone to film that Conan pilot that Ryan Condal wrote. I want a DYING EARTH show based on the works of the Jack Vance, I want Roger Zelazny’s NINE PRINCES IN AMBER to be faithfully adapted, I want Jirel of Joiry, I want MEMORY, SORROW, AND THORN, I want a Joe Abercrombie show. I want lots more… and lots more science fiction too.
But we don’t get any of that unless some of the fantasy series now in development prove to be hits.
What else? Hey, our wonderful Howard Waldrop short NIGHT OF THE COOTERS has been officially accepted into two film festivals. Can’t tell you which yet, but I will soon, when they announce their slates. And more to come.
And our second Waldrop short, FRIENDS FOREVER, has wrapped filming and is now in post.
And our third Waldrop short has just begun pre-production.
Meanwhile, over at AMC, DARK WINDS has been picked up for a second season. The reviews were amazing, and the numbers were very strong; we hope to be bringing Tony Hillerman’s stories to television for many years to come. My congratulations to our directors Chris Eyre and Sanford Bookstaver, to Graham Roland and the rest of our amazing writers, to Robert Redford and his decades of determination, to the incredible tireless Tina Elmo, and to Zahn McClarnon, Kiowa Gordon, Jessica Matten, Deanna Allison, and a supporting cast as good as any I have ever worked with. If you have not seen DARK WINDS yet, check it out… on AMC, or streaming on AMC +. I am proud to have helped this one going.
Yes, WINDS OF WINTER. No, have not forgotten. I was back with Tyrion this past week.
There’s more going on, but that’s all the time I have for today.
Current Mood: busy