A poster over at the Westeros forums has a report from a producer close to the project. Here is what she has to say regarding the pilot:
1) She really likes the script, and thinks its very promising.
2) *big news* She sounds almost certain that at least one season of Game of Thrones will be produced. From how she told it, HBO uses pilots (particularly in this instance) more as a way of testing the show, and seeing what they can improve/change. Due to the amount of effort already invested, she seems very sure about the idea that the series is getting picked up regardless of the pilot, though aspects may well change.
Things she is not so happy/sure about.
1) The director. She thinks McCarthy is a mistake, at least in terms of filming the entire series. According to her, he is a director who specialises in small casts, with low-budet production costs, and will simply not be able to manage A Game of Thrones, with its huge cast and epic fantasy feel. He will probably get the best out of the actors, but she feels strongly that he’s the wrong choice in terms of a long term series director. He doesn’t take on the views of the other producers enough.
Winter Is Coming: Good stuff. Signs continue to point towards us getting at least one season. I tend to disagree about McCarthy. I think he is great for helping keep the focus on the characters. Especially early on. As the production grows they could bring on a director more experienced in large casts and epic scale. For the pilot though, I think McCarthy will be perfect.