A little-known fact: George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” served as the inspiration for a niche HBO show called “Game of Thrones.” The television series ran for eight seasons, telling a complete, uncontroversial story.
In all seriousness, Martin has yet to tell a complete “Song of Ice and Fire” story, as the most recent book in the series (“A Dance with Dragons,” which the fifth season of “Game of Thrones” covered) was published in 2011. Since then, fans of Martin have eagerly — and somewhat impatiently — awaited the next book in the series, “The Winds of Winter.” And it seems like that it finally may be coming soon — possibly as soon as this year.
But as fans have noticed over the years, whether they like it or not, Martin hasn’t just been working on “The Winds of Winter.” He has plenty of irons in the metaphorical fire, especially since signing a five-year overall deal — in the mid-eight figures — with HBO this past March.
IndieWire has compiled a list of 14 other projects George R.R. Martin has on his plate, from confirmed series to projects at the earliest levels of development.
“House of the Dragon”
Naturally, keeping it in the “Game of Thrones” family, Martin will serve as executive producer — and co-creator, alongside Ryan Condal (“Colony”) — on HBO’s upcoming “House of the Dragon” series. In fact, Martin has stated that “House of the Dragon” was the first “Game of Thrones” follow-up concept he pitched to HBO, back in 2016. Based on Martin’s “Fire & Blood,” “House of the Dragon” is a prequel series set 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones.” It follows the eponymous, fiery House of the Dragon, House Targaryen, during their reign of Westeros.
The 10-episode series is set to air in 2022, with Martin promising not to write any scripts for until he’s “finished and delivered” “Winds of Winter.” “House of the Dragon” stars Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Olivia Cooke (pictured), Matt Smith, Rhys Ifans (pictured), Steve Toussaint, Eve Best, Sonoya Mizuno, and Fabien Frankel.
“9 Voyages” (aka “Sea Snake”)
This past March, Deadline reported that HBO is developing three “ideas for new projects” set in the same world as “Game of Thrones” — emphasis on “ideas.” As of that report, “Sea Snake” was the idea with the most traction, with a creative team including Martin and Bruno Heller (“Gotham”) already in place to develop the project.
Centering on Corlys Velaryon and his sea voyages, the character “reached the fabled lands of Yi Ti and Leng, whose wealth doubled that of the House Velaryon, and him and the Ice Wolf headed north searching for passage around the top of Westeros, only to find frozen seas and icebergs as big as mountains.”
“Flea Bottom” is the second of HBO’s three “ideas for new projects” set in the same world as “Game of Thrones.” The “Flea Bottom” idea refers to King’s Landing’s poorest slum district in King’s Landing. Unlike “9 Voyages” (aka “Sea Snake”) and “10,000 Ships,” no writers have been reported as attached to this idea yet.
“10,000 Ships” is the third of HBO’s three “ideas for new projects” set in the same world as “Game of Thrones.” The “10,000 Ships” idea refers to the “journey made by warrior queen Princess Nymeria and the surviving members of the Rhoynars, who travelled from Essos to Dorne following their defeat by the Valyrian Freehold in the Second Spice War.” This journey took place 1,000 years before the events of “A Song of Ice and Fire.” In May, Deadline reported that Amanda Segel (“Person of Interest”) has been enlisted to write the series.
Not every project that boasts George R.R. Martin’s name is on HBO, nor are they all of the “Game of Thrones”/”A Song of Ice and Fire” universe. “Dark Winds,” for example, is an upcoming AMC/AMC+ Western noir thriller series — which has received a six-episode order — based on the Leaphorn & Chee book series by Tony Hillerman. Set to premiere in 2022, “Dark Winds” follows two Navajo police officers, Joe Leaphorn (Zahn McClarnon, also executive producing) and Jim Chee (Kiowa Gordon) in Arizona in the 1970s, as they work a double murder case.
Arizona local Martin serves as an executive producer on the project, alongside showrunner Vince Calandra (“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan”) and Robert Redford (who has produced two screen adaptations of the Leaphorn & Chee series).
“Elden Ring” Video Game
Martin isn’t just sticking to books and television; he’s also taking things to the video game realm. “Elden Ring” is an upcoming third-person, action role-playing video game from FromSoftware and Bandai Namco Entertainment. Written by Martin and game director Hidetaka Miyazaki, “Elden Ring” has just as epic of a description as one would expect, considering Martin’s reputation for worldbuilding:
“The Golden Order has been broken. Rise, Tarnished, and be guided by grace to brandish the power of the Elden Ring and become an Elden Lord in the Lands Between. In the Lands Between ruled by Queen Marika the Eternal, the Elden Ring, the source of the Erdtree, has been shattered. Marika’s offspring, demigods all, claimed the shards of the Elden Ring known as the Great Runes, and the mad taint of their newfound strength triggered a war: The Shattering. A war that meant abandonment by the Greater Will. And now the guidance of grace will be brought to the Tarnished who were spurned by the grace of gold and exiled from the Lands Between. Ye dead who yet live, your grace long lost, follow the path to the Lands Between beyond the foggy sea to stand before the Elden Ring. And become the Elden Lord.”
Simply put, players will travel through the Lands Between as they attempt to gather the power of the Elden Ring. “Elden Ring” is scheduled to release on Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on January 21, 2022.
News that Martin was developing the late Roger Zelazny’s science fiction novel “Roadmarks” into a new television series for HBO leaked in February. Published in 1979, “Roadmarks” is about a highway that extends through space and time, connecting all times and possible histories.
As Martin wrote on his blog, his first script to ever be filmed was an adaptation of Zelazny’s “The Last Defender of Camelot,” for “The Twilight Zone.” He added, “Roger was a friend, a mentor, and one of the greatest science fiction writers who ever lived. He died in 1995, but his work will live for so long as people read SF and fantasy. It was an honor to be able to bring one of his stories to television. And now I am hoping we will be able to do it again.” Martin is developing “Roadmarks” with Kalinda Vazquez (“Fear the Walking Dead”), who will write the pilot and serve as showrunner should the series be picked up.
“Tales of Dunk and Egg”
Under Martin’s HBO deal, “Tales of Dunk and Egg” is another “Game of Thrones”-universe series in development. An adaptation of Martin’s “Tales of Dunk and Egg” novellas — prequels to the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, set 90 years before the events of those books — the series would follow Ser Duncan the Tall (“Dunk”) and future king Aegon V. Targaryen (“Egg”). The novella series (also collectively known as “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”) currently consists of 1998’s “The Hedge Knight,” 2003’s “The Sworn Sword,” and 2010’s “The Mystery Knight.” As of this January, “Tales of Dunk and Egg” is still in early development, with no writer yet attached.
“Wild Cards” is a shared-universe, science-fiction superhero series created by Martin in 1987 (and has been edited by Martin since then, alongside Melinda M. Snodgrass). Set in an alternate history of post-WWII United States, the series follows humans who contract the alien “Wild Card virus,” which either causes terrible physical conditions or superhuman abilities. Those who suffer from the former are known as “Jokers,” while those gifted with the latter are “Aces.” (Somewhere in between are “Deuces.”)
Universal Cable Productions acquired the rights to create a “Wild Cards” television series in 2016, and in 2018, it was announced that UCP would be teaming up with Hulu to develop two series based on the novels. This year, however, it was announced that “Wild Cards” would be moving its development from Hulu to Peacock. Martin, Snodgrass, and Vince Gerardis (who also edits “Wild Cards”) are all set to executive produce.
“Game of Thrones” stage production
Yes, “Game of Thrones” could be coming to a stage near you. Another project in the early stages of development, the “Game of Thrones” stage production hails from producers, Simon Painter and Tim Lawson. Duncan MacMillan has been tasked with writing and adapting “Game of Thrones” for the stage — working alongside Martin — while Dominic Cooke is set to direct.
In a statement about this production, Martin proclaimed, “The seeds of war are often planted in times of peace. Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when highborn and smallfolk alike gathered at Harrenhal to watch the finest knights of the realm compete in a great tourney, during the Year of the False Spring. It is a tourney oft referred during HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones,’ and in my novels, ‘A Song of Ice & Fire’… and now, at last, we can tell the whole story… on the stage.” He added, “Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, to the West End, to Australia… and eventually, to a stage near you.”
“Who Fears Death”
Back to Martin’s HBO deal, “Who Fears Death” is another television project in development. An adaptation of Nigerian-American writer Nnedia Okorafor’s science fantasy novel of the same name, Martin will serve as executive producer, with Selwyn Seyfu Hinds (“The Twilight Zone”) set to write the series and serve as co-executive producer. Tessa Thompson is also on board as an executive producer, as part of her own deal with HBO and HBO Max. The story of “Who Fears Death” imagines a post-apocalyptic future version of Sudan where the light-skinned Nuru oppress the dark-skinned Okeke.
“In the Lost Lands”
Now this is a little different, as director Paul W.S. Anderson (“Resident Evil”) has got his hands on a George R.R. Martin property. Specifically, Martin’s 1982 short story “In the Lost Lands,” which Anderson is adapting into a feature film starring Milla Jovovich and Dave Bautista. According to Variety, the movie is “a sprawling epic” that follows sorceress Gray Alys (Jovovich), “a woman as feared as she is powerful,” as she is sent to the “ghostly wilderness” of the Lost Lands by a queen. She is guided by Boyce (Bautista), a drifter, and together, they “must outwit and outfight man and demon in this fable that explores the nature of good and evil, debt and fulfillment, love and loss.”
Another big name director is adapting one of Martin’s stories into a film — Gore Verbinski (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), taking on Martin’s 1979 novelette “Sandkings” for Netflix. Focusing on a race of insectoid creatures, “Sandkings” is a collection of science-fiction short stories that has previously been adapted into both the pilot of the 1990s revival of “The Outer Limits” and a DC Comics graphic novel.
HBO Max’s “Game of Thrones” Animated Spinoff Series
Back in January, Deadline reported “an animated version of ‘Game of Thrones’ may be headed to HBO Max.” At the time, the animated drama was in the early stages of development, with no creative team on board and no concept. Now, at least three potential animated “Game of Thrones” spinoff series are reportedly being explored by HBO Max. One of these potential series could be set in the Golden Empire of Yi Ti, a region unexplored and unseen in the original series but considered one of the oldest and most advanced societies in this universe.
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