Game of Thrones News

ABC really wants its new Bible drama to be like Game of Thrones

We’ve talked before about how a lot of shows are getting compared to Game of Thrones nowadays. Sometimes it’s justified (FX’s The Bastard Executioner, now cancelled) and sometimes it’s a stretch (MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles). When it happens, producers and authors usually try to downplay comparisons, as when author Terry Brooks refuted parallels between Game of Thrones and The Shannara Chronicles, which is based on his book series. The good people at ABC, however, embraced the comparisons when talking about their upcoming biblical drama Of Kings and Prophets.

How big is the crew on Of Kings and Prophets? “We have as many as on Game of Thrones.” Why was the pilot reworked? “Game of Thrones tossed out its original pilot and started again, and we guess for much the same reason.” Here’s executive producer Chris Brancato on what viewers can expect from the show:

It’s suspenseful. It’s extraordinarily violent. It’s sexual. And it’s a power struggle between two men. We don’t view this as a revisionist history nor do we view it as a literal translation. We’ve sought to make the show modern…This is a non-dragon version of Game of Thrones.

The producers made their comments at the recent Television Critics Association winter press tour. Of Kings and Prophets will adapt the two books of Samuel from the Old Testament, which traces the life of King David. Executive producer Reza Aslan outlined the show’s approach to the character. “He’s the world’s first rock star. This is a man whose songs that he wrote 3000 years ago, we are still singing today. He’s called ‘messiah’ in the Bible. His blood courses through the veins of Jesus Christ. And yet — and I think this is what makes him so fascinating — he’s deeply flawed. He’s vain. He’s vengeful. He’s lustful.”

Vain, vengeful, and lustful. We can see the Game of Thrones comparisons. Reading through an outline of the Book of Samuel, there are a few things that seem to fit. Of course, there’s the battle between David and Goliath (Hafthór “the Mountain” Björnsson wasn’t cast as Goliath, but he could have been), and there’s the power struggle between David, the young upstart, and King Saul, who feared that David was swaying the common people to his side. At one point, Saul charges David with bringing him 100 Philistine foreskins, figuring that he’ll die in the attempt, but David ends up bringing him 200 foreskins. That’s weirder than anything in Game of Thrones, and we’re wondering how it’ll play on network TV.

And naturally, they’ll be plenty of sex, some of which might be so explicit that producers may have to quarantine it in the online streaming version of the show.

Of Kings and Prophets will premiere on ABC on March 8, 2016.

h/t Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter

40 Comments

    • Are you trying to say a man couldn’t live in a whale or a guy build a ship big enough to hold every animal on earth sir?

      • Well, as the owner of the UK’s sole pig aerobatic team I’m open to persuasion. I do believe that there is an incredible buy 1 get 5,000 free offer on sliced bread and mackerel down at my local supermarket.. Must dash……

  • You cannot faithfully tale David and Saul’s story on a pg13 network, graphic violence, rape, incest, murder, brutality, civil war, nudity, bi-sexuality, rinse and repeat.

  • Can’t wait to see how they adapt my favorite bible story – 1st Samuel 5-6. The Story of the Golden Hemorrhoids.

    • How about the one in Judges about a “king” called Jepthah who pledged to sacrifice to god the first thing that met him on his way home if he won a victory. The first thing to meet him on his trumphant return was his young daughter. So he burned her as an offering to his god. A human sacrifice to YHVH.

      Fun for the whole family.

  • “[David’s] blood courses through the veins of Jesus Christ.”

    No, it doesn’t. Joseph is said to be descended from David, but, as we all know, Jesus was a bastard.

    • Yeah, but Mary was also supposedly of the House of David; she and Joseph were cousins. That’s why they both had to go to Bethlehem (the ‘City of David’) for the census. And don’t forget that the Hebrews were a matrilineal culture. You’re considered a Jew only if your mother – not necessarily your father – is Jewish.

    • If the heavens opened and Cthulhu or the Great Prophet Zarquon or the Flying Spaghetti Monster or some black lesbian goddess came down and smote all the patriarchal types in the final episode, I would definitely want to watch.

  • From these photos it looks like this production has a really chintzy art budget. I see waaaay better costumes at my local Ren Faire each year.

  • I will check it out for Ray Winstone because he is amazing. But it’s on ABC? Meh. Move it to Stars or Showtime and it might have some teeth. I kind of hate the comparison to GoT with any show. I love historical fiction (and fantasy) but so few shows do the genre(s) any justice.

    • Agree with you 100%…this show’s doomed from the start. The conservative / religious viewers that might be attracted to the biblical premise will be turned off by the network’s inevitably lame attempts to spice it up, while the spice level won’t be nearly enough for viewers that have gotten used to the type of gritty, high-quality programming that’s being created by HBO, Showtime and others…

  • I’ve had enough bible crap to last me 5 lifetimes. All that christian crap means is “Kill the gays” and “Women are inferior and to be considered property.”

    GoT is entertaining. Bible garbage is torture.

      • Muslims don’t make TV shows, too busy blowing the shit out of everything and everyone and hating everyone. Much like christians.

        Hindus do make TV shows, but they’re all singing, all-dancing. Can you imagine a scene like Tyrion’s meeting with Daenerys done Bollywood style?

    • Excuse me? When did the Christ ever call for killing gay people or putting down women? You do realize the times in which the Bible was written right? So Jesus wasnt a vocal feminist…I dont think thats what his message was supposed to be focused on.

      • Leviticus 20:13: “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

        In late 2015 christian preacher Kevin Swanson, was screaming about not IF christians were going to kill gays, but WHEN christians were going to kill gays. Christian presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal were on the stage with him. No one said a word. In 2015 AD, not 2000 BC.

        So if you want to discuss the finer points of biblical interpretion I suggest you take it up with “pastor” Swanson and the author of the original text in Leviticus, not me.

  • I do not understand why some enterprising individuals do not pick up rights to some other literary fantasies, as it seems to me that portions of Martin’s “Song of Fire and Ice” are loving homages to classic literary fantasies. Don’t make them LIKE GoT, make them for the same market AS GoT.

    I know about the “Shannara” series planned, but those were awful books. Suzanne Clarke’s “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell” was wonderful, a truly great fantasy with great writing and great performances, but no one saw it but me; and Ms. Clarke has left us sequel-less for 12 years so nobody’s gonna find out how that ends.

    Could you imagine if someone with the chops and courage (and bucks) adapted the Moorcock’s “Elric” series?

    Amazon produced the “Man in the High Castle”, padded but interesting. Syfy did “Childhood’s End” which was padded out with soap opera and they pulled the punch at the end – but I’ve been waiting for 40 years to see that made. However, both of those are science fiction.

    Goro Miyazaki’s animated “Earthsea” movie was very good. LeGuin hated it.

    Me? I’d purely love to see Martin’s “Tuf Voyaging” made into a miniseries. Pruitt Taylor Vince as Haviland Tuf. But that’s science fiction.