As Game of Thrones approaches its end—the show’s eighth and final season is slated to premiere next year—fans will likely be looking for another grown-up-friendly, fantasy-genre series to fill the void left by HBO’s megahit once new episodes stop airing for good. Currently, Starz’s American Gods looks to be the heir apparent, with AMC’s wuxia Western Into the Badlands being another major contender. HBO, however, is evidently reluctant to leave its throne: per Variety, the premium cable channel is developing not one, but four spinoffs to Game of Thrones, taking the highly unusual route of tapping a different writer for each.
The writers, most of whom have written primarily for major theatrical films thus far, are each working on a different story idea, with George R. R. Martin himself involved in two of them. The four scribes are Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale, Mystic River), Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island, Fox’s Minority Report), Jane Goldman (Kingsman: The Secret Service, X-Men: First Class) and Carly Wray (Mad Men). Martin is involved with the Goldman and Wray projects.
HBO has not divulged much in the way of plot yet. All we know about the stories is that they will “explore different time periods of George R. R. Martin’s vast and rich universe.”
Previously, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had said that they do not anticipate being involved with any follow-up projects to the series, but it turns out they will be executive-producing the spinoffs. Whether all four of the projects will make it to the screen remains to be seen, but with this many ideas in development, the chances of at least one reaching fruition is pretty high.
Stay tuned for further updates on the spinoffs, and whether you like the cinematic universe-style model that HBO seems to be adopting, you can at the very least relish the idea that the Game of Thrones brand of entertainment probably won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.