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George R.R. Martin novels to become HBO series

by Brett Love, posted Jan 17th 2007 4:01PM
George R R Martin - A Clash Of KingsWell, I didn't get my "Snowcrash" mini-series for Festivus, but there are now a trio of projects that make for a damn fine substitute. Kevin mentioned the other day that George Clooney and Sci Fi are adapting Neil Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" for the small screen. Now comes word from Variety that George R. R. Martin's epic "Song of Ice and Fire" series has found a home at HBO.

Martin is currently at work on book five of the seven book series with the network planning to adapt each book into one season of the show. The stories take place in the seven kingdoms of Westeros and chronicle the violent history of the politics of the land. It's often very dark and, if given the same kind of scope as HBO's Rome, has the potential to be an amazing series. The project will be executive produced by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The plan is for Benioff and Weiss to write all the episodes each season, except one, which will be written by George R. R. Martin himself.

There is one more little tidbit at the end of the Variety article that I hadn't heard about, which may turn out to be even bigger news. Apparently D.B. Weiss recently adapted William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" for Warner Bros. It doesn't mention whether it is a film or television project, but I am assuming film. "Neuromancer" remains my favorite Gibson book, but Cayce Pollard is far and away my favorite Gibson character.

[ via Variety.com ]

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"The Wire: cancelled, given one final season."

The Wire was not canceled prematurely; it will have five seasons as planned by the creators of the series.

Also, as I understand it, Rome was never meant to be more than a two season series.

And David Milch is as much to blame for the current state of the Deadwood wrap-up as is HBO. He was offered a 6 ep season and declined it. Moreover, Deadwood was only meant to be a 4 season series, so it's not as if the show canceled with several seasons left yet to be produced.

Carnivale is really the only case of HBO canceling a series in the middle of its run. But even in this case, at least two seasons of the show were produced. Would this show or Deadwood, The Wire, or Rome ever been given a chance by another network?

January 23 2007 at 7:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've been begging for this exact scenario for years, right down to the network and 12 hours per season, with the scripts comprising about 720 pages worth of the 1000+ page novels' individual stories. This is a dangerous project though. HBO completely wrecked any faith I had in them over the past year.

1.) Deadwood: cancelled, given 2 two-hour movies to "finish" the series with all actors contracts terminated. However, HBO cancelled the show because they didn't want to pay for it and are almost certain to fail at getting back the actors who will undoubtedly have a high asking price to return to a job they were pinkslipped from.

2.) The Wire: cancelled, given one final season. The series creator basically has the luxury of at least patching together an ending.

3.) Rome: cancelled after season 2 was filmed because it "cost too much," undoubtedly the second season ends with the same cliffhanger ending and non-closure that Deadwood is looking to get.

If the Sopranos didn't have a predetermined finale, you can bet that would have got the axe too.

HBO's best series all have the same fate. Maybe SoIaF will be different, since it has an established audience, but I fear it will wind up the same...two or three seasons and a cancellation. The problem with SoIaF is the story is designed to have massive cliffhanger endings. Meaning they have no way of patching together a finale if HBO pulls the plug. And they've proven 3 times in the past year that show quality means nothing compared to the required budget. The previous mentioned shows had budgets upwards or beyond $60 million. And a show like this is likely to resemble the cancelled Rome, in both remote locales and set design.

"I must have blocked out pedophilia in the books as I don't remember anything like that."

He's probably referring to Dany and Khal Drogo. Although HBO could quite easily imply their "honeymoon" instead of showing it. A lot of the eastern isles have boywhores, which could also be what he's referring to, and that's a situation that also could be implied instead of displayed. I just hope they don't punk out on the harsh reality that makes this series so memorable. HBO is going to have a tough time marketing this after the family friendly Lord of the Rings movies undoubtedly were the catalyst for HBO even considering this series.

January 23 2007 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"I wonder if even HBO might shy away from some of the pedophilia in the book."

I must have blocked out pedophilia in the books as I don't remember anything like that. Now incest is featured quite prominently though, perhaps that is what you were referring to?

Anyway, this is a pretty crazy idea overall, but with digital effects the way they are it could be do-able, but at the same time the cast would be pretty large and the scope of the story immense. GRRM used to write for TV (Beauty and the Beast among others) so I can't see why he wouldn't be able to write a few of the episodes himself.

January 22 2007 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope they pour the amount of money into production for this as they do for Rome. Seeing the book will be amazing. If I had a choice, I would choose Erikson's books be put to film somehow, but his story is eons more complicated than even Martin and I can't imagine it ever being made. But I'm still glad the SOIAN is getting some respect and will hopefully become part of the mainstream.

January 18 2007 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate this series immensly, but I'll be subscribing to HBO HD just for this. Now they need to turn a decent series into a show. Hopefully huge nerd support for this will get Firefly talk(they're the devil itself for buying this but not taking up firefly instead) or maybe some better Fantasy books even, Wheel of Time, Book of the New Sun by Wolfe, or any number of others.

But yeah, despite all that, nerdtopia.

January 17 2007 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Watch out fans. HBO is liable to cancel it after two seasons-- like Carnivale and Rome-- because it's just too expensive.

January 17 2007 at 5:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't wait to see this. I'm a big fan of the series of books. I think the idea of making each book one season is a great idea.

January 17 2007 at 5:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is great news! I simply love this series of novels. However, they're so huge I wonder if even HBO will be able to get everything important into 13 one-hour episodes per book. A Games of Thrones is a manageable novel, but each book after gets progressively longer and the cast grows even larger. Considering the worldwide popularity of these novels, this could be HBO's biggest hit since The Sopranos debuted.

January 17 2007 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sweet. I'm about finished with the 4th book of the series and it's a great story. I can't wait to see who they cast for the parts, this will be a very cool project.

January 17 2007 at 4:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Brett Love

Ah scott, you're still hoping for timely releases of the books? I was beaten up by so many delays before A Feast For Crows that I am now resigned to just waiting and waiting. :D

It is very exciting news though.

January 17 2007 at 4:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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