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‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel: Naomi Watts to Star in Pilot of New Series Co-Created by George R.R. Martin

The new untitled spinoff won't reach TV airwaves until at least a year after "Game of Thrones" wraps up.

Member of the 'Venezia 75' jury Australian actress Naomi Watts poses during a photocall at the 75th annual Venice International Film Festival, in Venice, Italy, 29 August 2018. The festival runs from 29 August to 08 September 2018.75th Venice International Film Festival, Italy - 29 Aug 2018

CLAUDIO ONORATI/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Details of the in-the-works “Game of Thrones” prequel series are still scarce, but now the new show has a face to lead it. HBO announced on Tuesday that Naomi Watts will star in the pilot for the upcoming series.

Jane Goldman and original book series writer George R.R. Martin are the co-creators of this new series, which still does not have an official title. (On his personal website, Martin has hinted that his desired title would be “The Long Night.”) Watts will lead an ensemble cast for a story set multiple millenia before the events seen in the eight seasons of the HBO series. It’s the latest TV project for Watts, who will also be a part of Showtime’s upcoming limited series on the life and career of former Fox News head Roger Ailes.

This series is one of four that were in the running to continue the story of the TV megahit. Apart from Goldman and Martin’s idea that won out, the network also considered possible contributions for “Game of Thrones” spinoffs that would have taken in different time periods across the franchise’s timeline.

Among those who were working on these three potential versions were “Westworld” and “The Leftovers” writer Carly Wray, Max Borenstein (who’s currently working on Season 2 of AMC’s “The Terror”), “A Knight’s Tale” director Brian Helgeland, and Bryan Cogman, who wrote multiple episodes of “Game of Thrones.”

The official synopsis from when Goldman and Martin got the green light back in June details that “from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s 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.” As network programming head Casey Bloys hinted back at the beginning of the year, don’t expect this new series to hit the airwaves until at least 2020.

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