Yesterday, the HBO Executive session was held at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Chairman and CEO Richard Plepler, and President of programming Michael Lombardo took the stage to discuss the future of their programming, and fielded a number of questions from critics about Game of Thrones.
The session kicked off with the buzzing question on everyone’s mind: what will happen if George R.R. Martin doesn’t finish his next book in time for the series to continue? Lombardo insisted that there’s no cause for concern, “We’re not off on our own in respect to at least next season. Obviously George is an integral part of the creative team, so next season every move is being choreographed very closely with him. Certainly after next year we’ll have to figure it out with George. The book’s not finished at this point, but we’re in conversations with him. We’re not concerned about it.”
They also revealed that nothing short of a nuclear war will prevent them from finishing the story as scheduled. Lombardo said, “No. Look, I mean we’re committed to it, and Dan and Dave are committed to it.” While Plepler added, “Our line to George as always been, ‘You keep writing and we’ll keep making the show.’”
Another hot topic recently has been the potential of a Game of Thrones movie to cap off the series. Martin has been asked about the movie in several interviews, but the HBO execs say that there have been no conversations about the idea. “He is 100 percent focused on his books and his series, and has only held out the movie concept as something way down the road,” Plepler said. “There’s no conversations going on about a movie,” Lombardo added.
Game of Thrones has become a cultural phenomenon, and its fan base continues to grow with each season. On the success of the show, Plepler said, “What we knew is that it was a great series of books in the hands of two superb writers who were great showrunners. That it would turn into the biggest show in the history of our network was completely unpredictable.” Lombardo added, “If we knew, we’d be bottling it. All you can do is go along with it — and be very, very pleased.”
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