GRRM waits, Momoa trains
By Winter Is Coming on in Press, Speculation.

George R. R. Martin mentions the pilot in a recent post to his Not A Blog and it sounds like he is in the same boat we are in.

Meanwhile, March creeps ever closer, and with it the HBO decision about whether or not to greenlight the GAME OF THRONES series. I am pretty much out of the loop on this, so there’s nothing I can do to impact it either way… but as much as I have tried to adopt a “que sera, sera” attitude, I’m growing increasingly anxious. All sorts of rumors swirling around the internet, both good and bad. And of course Hollywood has broken my heart before. Ask me politely and I’ll show you my DOORWAYS scars…

In other news, Jason Momoa was interviewed by the Des Moines Register about his upcoming role as Conan the Barbarian. He is currently in intensive training for the role and will begin filming in mid-March and is scheduled to continue filming into June. At that point, according to the article, he will begin working on the first season of Game of Thrones.

Last fall, Momoa was cast as the brutal warrior Khal Drogo in “Game of Thrones,” a pilot and potential HBO fantasy drama. He will start filming more of the TV series in Ireland and Morocco at the end of June.

Winter Is Coming: Interesting that GRRM doesn’t seem to have any more idea about HBO’s thoughts on the pilot than any one of us. He was closely involved in the production of the pilot so it seems strange that he isn’t in the loop about its current status. I suppose even if he did have some inside info, he would still be waiting for the official announcement like the rest of us. The mention of his scars is a reference to his pilot project from his Hollywood days, Doorways, which was not picked up. Of course that experience has left him extra anxious about Thrones until HBO gives it the official green light.

As far as Jason Momoa goes, sounds like he has a busy schedule. I’m glad for his success. I’m also glad that it sounds as if he is going to be in tip-top shape once he comes back to film the first season of Thrones. The one question that comes to my mind is if the end of June will be the start of filming for the entire cast, or just those needed for the Dany scenes. Will they shoot in Northern Ireland and Morocco concurrently? Or will they start in Morocco, knock out all the Dany scenes in a few weeks and transition to Belfast for the remainder of the 30-week shoot? If I had to guess I would say it is likely to be the second scenario.


65 Comments

  1. LavenderA
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    uh-oh…I'm starting to get worried…

    Thank you, WIC, for keeping us updated. :)

  2. Bob
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    This Michael guy even got GRRM anxious, I hope March will bring good news.

  3. About Yea High
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Julia Frey thinks all the wild speculation is amusing.

    I take that as a good sign.

  4. The_Rabbit01
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    O Great Khal of the Dothraki sea, just made my morning! lol

    I expect the great drama over here in next ten or so days.
    I am not so worry about us, we will survive, whatever happens.

    If HBO says NO, I will be angry only for our Georges sake.
    Damn it, the MAN deserves the greenlight.

    @AYH
    Yes, me too.

  5. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I've pointed this out before, but GAME OF THRONES will have a cycling roster of different directors, like other HBO and TV dramas in general. As such, it will almost certainly not be logistically possible to film the entire Dothraki/Pentos/Dany sequences in one go unless all the different episode directors show up and film their bits one after the other, which seems unlikely. If just one director filmed the Dany stuff, they'd have to be dual-credited with the other directors filming the other material, which is very expensive (directors being the most highly-paid individuals working on any one particular episode, major stars excepted).

    So my guess is that they will to-and-fro from Morocco to Ireland and back again as required.

  6. Half Myrish
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Talking about Momoa not being available for filming until June makes me wonder about when Lena Headey would be able to get involved again if GoT gets the greenlight. Headey was newly pregnant in November, so depending on how far along she was, she'll deliver in May or June. I wonder how much time would she need to deliver, spend time with her new baby, and get back in shape? Several months at least, I would think. I wonder if HBO is going to wait for her or recast the role.

  7. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Cersei actually has a fairly low profile in GoT, especially the first few episodes after the pilot. She can be seen sitting at tables at small council meetings or covered up in gowns and so forth in the grand and lengthy tradition of pregnant or newly-delivered actresses. Cersei's more important plot moments, such as her conversation with Ned in the godswood and events at the end of Book/Season 1, don't come until much later on.

  8. Winter Is Coming
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Good point about the different directors Adam. Forgot about that one. However, it just seems so inefficient to go back and forth from Belfast and Morocco every few weeks. Not only from a travel and financial standpoint, but I can't imagine the actors would be too pleased with that arrangement either. What will the Belfast-based cast do while D&D and Co. are down in Morocco for a few weeks? Or vice versa. I would think the actors would want to film everything in one go and then be free to move on to other projects.

    I guess it's just another one of those logistical problems this series is going to have to overcome.

  9. rosemary
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Why would Esme Bianco know GoT was green-lighted and not GRRM?? (see tweet post from 2/13) That seems way wrong imho

  10. JackSparrow
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Would dual-crediting be necessary, though? I was thinking about this situation, and it reminded me of the first two 'Superman' films, where (as I'm sure most people know), Richard Donner was directing the two movies simultaneously, but he only finished 75% of the second film (that is the percentage commonly thrown out, though I'm sure it's an approximation). Donner was fired after the first movie opened, and Richard Lester was hired to finish the second film, but, according to guild laws, a director has to shoot 51% of a film to be credited as the director, so many scenes from 'Superman 2' were reshot (supposedly Gene Hackman refused to cooperate, and there are many shots where a recognizably different actor stands in for Lex Luthor (probably with his back to the camera); I keep planning on watching the movie again sometime to catch this). Anyway, the point I am trying to come to is probably obvious, but movies often use second unit directors (or even third or fourth units), and I'm sure television must do this sometimes. I would expect the Daenarys scenes to take up less than half the minutes in any episode (probably much less, most of the time). Even though I am somewhat dubious about the idea of shooting all the Daenarys scenes at once, I wonder if it's possible. A more likely scenario might be filming scenes for two or three episodes in a stretch. You could probably even do that and switch out directors, or have the same director film back-to-back episodes. Anyway, I was just pondering the situation.

  11. @anacarolinars
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I think GRRM does not want to know, for all his hollywood bad experience. It's better when you don't put on something uncertain very much of your expectations.

    About Lena Headey, we know she was already showing at november. So, I think she was in the 3rd or even 4th or 5h month – so her baby will be already born at june….

  12. Daniel
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Production companies are very speculative and strange when it comes to pilots. They might spend a million dollars on a pilot for a series that has some high amount of promise and than suddenly pull out after the first waiting period. I know Adam Carolla was ready to play host for an American style Top Gear, but they pulled the plug last minute. He mentioned in his podcast that they went full bore, spending a ton on that. I think Game Of Thrones is too badass for that though and it shall never perish. Ill buy a new flatscreen if this mother gets on air.

  13. Dave
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Anyone else think the DOORWAYS thing might be a clue or riddle?

  14. @sgnp
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    The only thing we know is that Esmé Bianco said on Twitter that she was happy about something, and later responded to About Yea High, hoping that he would be happy about it, too.

    Esmé and About Yea High have had conversations about Game of Thrones before on Twitter, so it's reasonable to assume that the good news was related to the project.

    However, this doesn't necessarily mean a pick-up announcement. Fans on this board have been speculating for a while whether or not Esmé might be brought back as another character. It's possible that she got some news to this effect.

    So, she wouldn't necessarily know it was green-lit before GRRM. She might just have gotten some good news, contingent on it getting picked up.

    (People have suggested that the "Lannister Lady in Waiting" figurine Esmé received as a gift from GRRM supports this scenario.)

  15. pualo
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    No.

  16. Some Dude
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    I'm starting to believe you're trolling

  17. sjwenings
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Not if you were honest.

  18. JackSparrow
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Guy, now you're just being annoying.

  19. Michael Sourcenator
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Not at all. I was just querying some folk. That's all.

  20. JackSparrow
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Another point I was going to make (but forgot to include in my last comment); somewhere on the DVDs for 'The Wire' (in a commentary, or an interview), David Simon mentioned how they would move scenes between episodes while editing, to get an episode to the right length. He didn't mention whether who directed what scene was a problem, but my feeling was that it isn't necessarily a big problem. One reason I wanted to bring this up was because I had seen it discussed previously whether or not scenes could be shifted between episodes; based on 'The Wire', I would expect they could be. But this also seems to be relevant as to whether you can have part of an episode directed by a different director than the primary director credited. Of course, just shifting a few minutes isn't necessarily the same as having an entire subplot in an episode directed by a different director, but I just thought I would mention it.

  21. Half Myrish
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    She wasn't showing at all when they filmed the pilot with her nude scenes, or so was said in the interview with Coster-Waldau. So the most she could have been in October was 2-3 months pregnant. You really can't be 4-5 months pregnant in a nude scene and not have people notice, especially when you're a slender woman like Headey. Which would put the baby born somewhere between April – June. And she'd need a couple months at least to spend time with her baby and get back in shape. But like Adam Whitehead said, I guess she'd be in gowns most of the time for most of season one, so it's not such a big deal. Now that I think about it, there aren't any more sex scenes with Cersei in book one, unless HBO decides to add some in.

  22. The_Rabbit01
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    I think you remember that wrong, NCW said that Lena was NOT with him in the nude scenes, because of her pregnancy.

  23. JackSparrow
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    "She wasn't showing at all when they filmed the pilot with her nude scenes, or so was said in the interview with Coster-Waldau."

    If I remember the interview correctly, Coster-Waldau claimed that Headey needed a body double for the nude scenes, specificaly because she was pregnant and showing (IIRC).

  24. @sgnp
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Not at all. I think he's just explaining why he's being cautious with his optimism.

  25. @sgnp
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Here's the quote:

    "How was it like to work together with an international star like Lena Headey?

    It was a really good experience. She’s really cute and smart – and she’s also a lot of fun. She was also pregnant during filming, but not so far along that you could see it clearly. But she had to have a stand-in in a nude scene with me."

    I take it to mean that she wasn't really showing when clothed, but you would have been able to tell if she had done her own nude scene.

  26. Michael Sourcenator
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    I feel like I did something terrible…

    …did I do something terrible?

  27. @sgnp
    Posted February 20, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Michael, don't sweat it. Given the vagueness of your source and the generally common-sense nature of the information you passed on, anyone who's too worried about its authenticity or what it means for the future of the series needs to just relax and wait for more official info.

  28. Half Myrish
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    You guys are right. I remembered the first line of the interview where he said she was pregnant during filming, but not so far along that she was showing. I didn't catch that she had a body double for the nude scenes when I originally read the article. In that case though, still no more than 4 months pregnant. 5 months or more, even in a gown, you are going to look pregnant. So, baby born in April, then.

  29. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    GRRM just posted this.

    "Another visit to a big midwestern city is in the works as well, and much sooner than the FFG event, but I can't talk about that one yet. Watch this space. Announcement soon."

    The FFG event is in November Its probably something book-related but perhaps there could be a GoT announcement press conference in…say…Chicago? George on Oprah? Hmmm! ;P

  30. dizzy34
    Posted February 21, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I'm reading into thing but he talked about a chapter reading in November of Dance…I was hoping for the whole book by then but alas we're used to waiting…

  31. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Heh. I surely must be smoking something here, but maybe if Dance is finished by then it will be his first Reading from Winds!

  32. Dahn
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Dance maybe finished by november but it probably won't be in stores so the reading will probably be of a chapter of dance (and he said maybe)
    George on Oprah would be great, but any positive GOT announcement is fine by me.

  33. nicole
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    @ George on Oprah, LOL

  34. Nymeria
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    isn't Oprah putting an end to her talkshow pretty soon? I thought I read something about that not too long ago…

  35. asiwyfA
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    10 week morocco two ten week ireland shoots

  36. asiwyfA
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    90 % greenlit crew being lined up

  37. gleamingcircuit
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I believe George may have been alluding to Denver, and the Mile High convention. It doesn't happen until October, but I seem to recall he dropped some hint about making a major announcement at this appearance once in the past. Admittedly, October dosen't fit in with "much sooner" than November. Anyone else recall him mentioning Mile High and big news in the same breath?

    Anyone in the industry have any thoughts on the chances of us seeing the pilot somehow if it IS NOT picked up (and I desperately hope it is, I might even be willing to let Zolo the fat lop off my sword hand if they would just give it the "go") ? DVD release, download, pirated studio copy…even if they (HBO execs) don't like it I know we would all love to see what they did.

  38. Whipporowill
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    FFG – Fantasy Flight Games. They hold the license for AGOT board and cardgames. Awesome stuff b tw.

    First post :D

  39. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Given that Dany's material in the book makes up about 1/7 of the story, it seems unlikely they'd be dedicating one-third of the shooting time to her antics, unless they are using Morocco for other locations in Westeros. If they did film all of her stuff in one go, 4-5 weeks would be more realistic.

  40. Boogage
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    As far as us ever seeing the non picked up pilot, the odds are slim to none that HBO would ever show it, much less let it slip. I cant see themdoing it at all, much less by choice. Theyre tight with their failed pilots

  41. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    I was bored so I tooled around the web a little and found this. I thought it might be interesting to some of you. Of note, it seems like George is Norway's answer to David Hasslehoff!

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=A+Game+of+Thrones&

  42. Nymeria
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    never mind… a little googling reveals it's not before 2011. So plenty of time for GRRM to make an appearance. LOL

  43. spacechampion
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    After Doorways was not picked up, GRRM later showed the pilot at a convention. So one way or another we might get to see it, but it would probably depend on D&D and HBO not objecting.

  44. Grimtuesday
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 12:28 am | Permalink

    wait is this number of books sold in those citys.

  45. Mormegil
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Yeah I saw that video a few weeks ago and was amazed at how much green screen work is done nowadays.

  46. Nymeria
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    In case some of you missed it, we might have a new fan/spy in the Belfast extra agency.

    Here is her post from the 'Belfast extras agency prepping for more Thrones' thread:

    —————————–
    Krystyna Nahlik
    Just signed up with the Belfast extras agency yesterday, had to admit I last sat on a horse ages ago and don't own one ;) They do ask about historical re-enactment, combat and horse riding, but also about loads of other stuff, so I guess they are just covering all bases. Hope my LARP experience and court dance classes will be enough to get me in as a lady in waiting somewhere!
    ————————–

  47. Peeter Talvistu
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    just a small update. some of you guys might remember that i posted a john adams vfx real last year that showed you what can be done with green screens and matte-painting if you use them well. as a way of an update to this, here is a link to stargate studio's effects demo reel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clnozSXyF4k

    this is all modern tv shows, but it just blows your mind how little reality they actually use.

  48. Lord Ned's Head
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I think that it is the number of hits that his name gets and the interest various areas have in him at given times.

  49. Dahn
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    amid that "pile of drek" (you're probably correct about most of them) is the adaptation of Kirkman's Walking Dead comics. I am as excited about that as I am about A Game Of Thrones and I trust AMC as much as HBO to make quality TV (the involvement of Frank Darabont reassures).

    What surprised me was the description of "a game of thrones". If you haven't read the books you wouldn't know from the description what the series is about and probably won't be excited about it.
    As a fan it is rather sobering to see a neutral description.

  50. Adam Whitehead
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    Major SF website io9 have listed GAME OF THRONES as one of their shows that might 'Save SF (and Fantasy)', alongside what can kindly be called a pile of drek (the live-action STAR WARS series, a US remake of BEING HUMAN and a US-based continuation of TORCHWOOD 'could' all work but, let's be realistic here, probably won't).

    http://io9.com/5476760/18-upcoming-tv-shows-that-

  51. Dahn
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    amid that "pile of drek" (you're probably correct about most of them) is the adaptation of Kirkman's Walking Dead comics. I am almost as excited about that as I am about A Game Of Thrones and I trust AMC as much as HBO to make quality TV (the involvement of Frank Darabont reassures).

    The description of A Game Of Thrones was rather neutral. As a fan I expected more hype. Still an interesting article.

  52. Dahn
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Oops, sorry about the double (and now triple) posting. My browser is acting up. WIC can delete my last two post if you want.

  53. Nymeria
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I totally agree with Dahn
    I find rather shocking that the article goes in details about every projects mentioned but A Game of Thrones. Gives me the impression that the author knew nothing about it or the buzz around it and didn't even bother researching it. Either that, or he despises the series but included it anyway as a poor act of impartiality.

    I don't like it. There MUST be more hype.

  54. Nymeria
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Mr. & Mrs. Fitch, starring Jennifer Ehle, opened last night in Second stage Theater, New York. A quick look over the news tells me critics aren't all that enchanted with the play, some even finding fault with her performance. On the other hand, some are very positive. But no mention of her next projects or anything related with GoT. But perhaps we can expect an interview soon.

  55. The_Rabbit01
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Felica Day mentioned in an <a href="http://geekadelphia.com/2010/02/24/farpoint-2010-a-conversation-with-felicia-day/&quot; interview that it would be fun to go to auditon for the GOT, but it was not allowed to her, because she was not british?!

  56. dysfunction
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Nymeria: io9 previously wrote a piece about GoT about how the fantasy was going to be 'toned down' and that the network seemed "embarrassed that it's a genre story"- completely missing the point, which is that in ASOIAF the fantasy really *does* sit in the background, and HBO's descriptions of it have all been spot-on true to the book- but this misconception has probably lowered their editors' expectations of the show.

  57. Nymeria
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    @dysfunction
    Thanks for putting it in context. I see where they come from. At least it means this isn’t the general public’s opinion, and this reduces its “sobering” effect as far as I’m concerned.

  58. LaughingSkull
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    wow, she rules; Thanks for making me aware of her :D

  59. About Yea High
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    We think someone (a Brian Thompson fan) just stuck it there. IMDB is tragically open to editing by just about anyone.

    GRRM would have announced him.

    There's maybe a 1% chance they nabbed him to play Jory, though he's American, and I'm not sure he does accents.

  60. Brude
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    I think some people really wanted him for either Sandor or Gregor…like AYH said, probably a fan who is trying, in a misguided way, to drum up interest for him by adding his name to the cast list. Early in the process some fan put Holly Marie Combs' name on the list as Catelyn and all sorts of people went nuts cause she's totally wrong for the part.

  61. LaughingSkull
    Posted February 24, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Guys, GoT's imdb page lists Brian Thompson, the guy who played Shao Khan in the MK2 movie, as starring in the pilot. Has there been any word of that, or is someone just messing around?

  62. adamsaflute
    Posted February 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    your a ballbag adam, working on it. ten weeks morrocco shot,, too expensive to fly crew back and forth, spunk buckets like yourself with their know it all attitude really dont flick my bean. bell end

  63. asiwyfA
    Posted February 26, 2010 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    no need for that reply but agro one right, also working on this and for same reason it is too expensive to to and fro, never read books but 10 weeks there alright

  1. [...] with us to hear HBO’s decision on whether the Pilot of A Game of Thrones is being picked up (info at Winter is Coming), and either the screening of the pilot didn’t get a good reaction, or it did (also from [...]

  2. [...] was waiting for the March decision with the rest of [...]


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