‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel: ‘Our Hope’ Is to Shoot in ‘First Half of 2019,’ HBO Chief Says

TCA 2018: Casey Bloys tells TheWrap that reported October timing was just wishful thinking

Game of Thrones

The “Game of Thrones” prequel pilot is coming. And though HBO has been extremely tight-lipped about when it’s coming, TheWrap was able to pry just a little more information out of Casey Bloys, when speaking with him during the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour Wednesday.

“Our hope is that it would shoot you know, first half of ’19,” the premium cable network’s programming boss told us. “I don’t know where the October came from,” he added, referencing rumors that the prequel pilot would go into production in Belfast this October, in a story first reported by the Belfast Telegraph in June. “I’m guessing maybe they wanted it to be? [laughs] But there was no truth to that.”

With the final season of “Game of Thrones” looming, HBO put five prequels from various writers into development last year. In June, it was announced the project from “Kingsman” scribe Jane Goldman, was ordered to pilot and that’s the one that HBO is moving forward with first. Everything else is being kept under wraps for now.

“The only thing you are going to hear about the prequels right now is that we’re doing this one and we’re excited about it and we are looking for a director, we’re going to start casting and that’s the only prequel news we got!” Bloys said.

Last month, “A Song of Ice and Fire” author George R.R. Martin mentioned that one of the five “Game of Thrones” prequel pilots HBO is considering right now has been “shelved.” So has it, Casey?

“Could be, could be! [laughs] Maybe. Could be.”

Martin didn’t specify which of the other four projects he was discussing, but HBO has one each from “Thrones” alum Bryan Cogman, Max Borenstein (“Kong: Skull Island”), Brian Helgeland (“Legend”) and Carly Wray (“Mad Men,” “The Leftovers”).

“Three more ‘Game of Thrones’ prequels, set in different periods and featuring different characters and storylines, remain in active development,” Martin wrote in his blog. “Everything I am told indicates that we could film at least one more pilot, and maybe more than one, in the years to come. We do have an entire world and 10 of thousands of years of history to play with, after all. But this is television, so nothing is certain.”

And, pushing for just a little more info here, last time Bloys was at TCA he said that chances were they’d order at least one pilot to series. Is that still the case?

“I said anywhere from 0 — my guess was 0-1,” Bloys said. “We’re at one. My guess is we’ll see how this one goes. We’re excited about it. I don’t see a lot of other focus on prequels before we finish this [one].”

Earlier in the day, Bloys told TCA reporters during his executive session that the final season of “Game of Thrones” would premiere in the “first half of 2019.” So it looks like that’s gonna be a busy quarter for HBO.

The eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” is set to premiere in the first half of 2019 on HBO.