Production has wrapped on HBO’s Naomi Watts-led “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot, which began shooting in Belfast, Ireland this summer, Casey Bloys said during the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday.
The HBO programming president added that he’s “very excited” by the footage he’s seen so far.
Bloys also addressed the online petition that was started by fans asking the pay-TV channel to remake the final season of “GoT” with “competent writers” (a dig at showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) which he says “shows a lot of enthusiasm.”
“Look, I take all of the activity around the finale as — there are very, very few downsides to having a hugely popular show, but one I can think of is when you try to end it, many people have big opinions on how it should end,” Bloys told reporters. “I think that just comes with the territory.”
“The petition, I think, shows a lot of enthusiasm and passion for the show, but it wasn’t something we seriously considered. I can’t imagine another network would, but who knows,” he added.
Ordered to pilot last year, the currently untitled project from George R.R. Martin and “Kingsman” screenwriter Jane Goldman is set thousands of years before the events of the original “Game of Thrones” series in the era known as the Age of Heroes.
Along with Watts, the pilot’s cast includes “Harry Potter” alum Miranda Richardson, Josh Whitehouse, Naomi Ackie (who will next appear in J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars Episode IX”), Denise Gough (“Guerrilla,” “Angels in America”), Jamie Campbell Bower (“Twilight,” “Mortal Instruments”), Sheila Atim (“Harlots”), Ivanno Jeremiah (“Black Mirror”), Georgie Henley (“The Chronicles of Narnia”), Alex Sharp (“To the Bone”), Toby Regbo (“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald”), Marquis Rodriguez, John Simm, Richard McCabe, John Heffernan and Dixie Egerickx.
According to HBO, the drama “chronicles the world’s descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend … it’s not the story we think we know.”
Goldman wrote the pilot from a story she developed alongside Martin. She will serve as showrunner and will executive produce alongside Martin, James Farrell, Jim Danger Gray, Vince Gerardis, Sara Lee Hess, and Daniel Zelman. S.J. Clarkson will direct the pilot and also executive produce. Chris Symes is co-executive producer.