ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – HBO has just answered a huge lingering question about Game of Thrones.
EW asked the network’s new programming president Casey Bloys if he plans to go along with showrunners’ David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ oft-stated desire to end their fantasy hit with season 8.
Bloys said yes, that is the current plan – the first time somebody at HBO has confirmed this.
“Yes, they have a very specific plan about the number of seasons they want to do,” Bloys said at the Television Critics Association’s press tour in Beverly Hills on Saturday. “Believe me, as the new [programming executive] coming in, if I could get them to do more. I would take 10 more seasons. But we take their lead on what they think they can do the best version of the show.”
The showrunners have also planned for the eighth season to consist of merely six episodes. On that front, however, Bloys said the exact number of season eight episodes is not yet final.
We then asked if the team is considering a Thrones spin-off to continue the valuable franchise. Thrones is one of TV’s most watched shows with 25 million total viewers this year across all platforms.
“We’ve talked about it,” he said. “It’s something I’m not opposed to, but of course it has to make sense creatively. I’m not sure that [Benioff and Weiss] could really wrap their heads around it when they’re just about to start production [on season 7]. It’s a pretty intense production, they’re about to start production soon. I’m open to it. The guys weren’t opposed to it, but there’s no concrete plans for it at this point.”
Also, with the production delay of season seven – which will debut its seven episodes next summer – the executive confirmed the plan will take Thrones out of the running for the Emmys next year. Thrones received 23 prime-time 2016 Emmy nominations, more than any other show, but requires a heavy amount of winter location shooting for the next season (locations include a production unit filming in Iceland).
Still, Bloys pointed out, “Even if we took Thrones Emmys away this year, we’d still have more than anyone else.”
A blooper reel from Season 6 of Game of Thrones was played at this year’s San Diego Comic Con. Emilia is adorable! Check it out below:
An in-production teaser trailer for Season 7 of Game of Thrones was released. You can watch it below:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY – Summer is coming.
HBO is officially confirming some major changes for Game of Thrones.
Season 7 of the fantasy sensation will not return until summer 2017 – pushing back from the show’s usual strategy of premiering each edition of the series in the spring (typically April).
Also, the network is confirming for the first time that next edition will consist of seven episodes (a pull back from the show’s usual 10 hours).
Plus, HBO added that the next season will be shot in Northern Ireland, Spain, and Iceland. It’s been a couple years since the Thrones team used Iceland for significant shooting, having primarily used the location for North of the Wall scenes when Jon Snow was embedded with the Wildlings camp.
“Now that winter has arrived on Game of Thrones, executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss felt that the storylines of the next season would be better served by starting production a little later than usual, when the weather is changing,” said Casey Bloys, president, HBO programming. “Instead of the show’s traditional spring debut, we’re moving the debut to summer to accommodate the shooting schedule.”
Benioff and Weiss also recently told the UFC Unfiltered podcast that production was getting a later start this year to film in wintery locations, which prompted speculation that the show’s return date might also be pushed. “We’re starting a bit later because at the end of this season, ‘Winter is here’ — and that means that sunny weather doesn’t really serve our purposes any more. So we kind of pushed everything down the line, so we could get some grim grey weather even in the sunnier places that we shoot.” (Usually the show begins production in July).
The producers have previously told EW they wanted to cap the hit series at 73 hours, with seven episodes next year, and six in an eighth-and-final season. (“We’ve known for several years now how many hours, roughly, we want it to go, it hasn’t changed,” Benioff said.) HBO has not yet confirmed anything about season 8, however, so that part of their plan is not yet official.
Thrones has managed to ratchet up its production values with each season, and having fewer episodes will likely allow more time for the team to polish every hour of the show. The producers have tapped directors Alan Taylor, Jeremy Podeswa, Mark Mylod, and Matt Shakman for next season.
Thrones season 6 broke HBO ratings records once again with episodes averaging more than 23 million viewers, including streaming, repeats and DVR playback The drama was also nominated for 23 primetime Emmys last week, more than any of other series for the third year running.
Joe Sharkey, the author of Above Suspicion posted a blog about the filming of the movie that just wrapped up last Sunday. He talks about how it was a joy to see Emilia play the role of Susan Smith and more. There are also 2 photos of him with Emilia looking beautiful on the set that have been added to the gallery!
JOESHARKEY.COM – I’ve just come back from an interesting trip to the location shoot in isolated Harlan, Ky., for the movie adaptation of my 1993 book, “Above Suspicion.” The working title for the movie was unaccountably changed on location to “Blood Mountain,” and more on that in a minute.
The movie stars Emilia Clarke, famously of “Game of Thrones,” and Jack Huston, who will be seen in the leading role of the $200 million remark of the biblical epic “Ben-Hur” to be in the theaters in mid-August.
It was a real joy to be on the set and watch Emilia dig bravely and energetically into the challenging role of Susan Smith, a smart, sassy, dysfunctional coal-miner’s daughter in impoverished southern Appalachia who foolishly ties her impossible dreams to a young, dashing FBI agent who employs her as his high-producing criminal informant. But then he kills her when she threatens to ruin his marriage and his FBI career by exposing the furtive, desperate sexual affair she has enticed him into. Jack Huston plays that FBI agent with uncanny verisimilitude. Sophie Lowe plays his wife; Thora Birch plays the dead girl’s sister; and Austin Hebert and Johnny Knoxville play the agent’s local police pal and the dead girl’s ne’er-do-well ex-husband as hard-charging good ol’ boys from eastern Kentucky. It is a terrific young cast.
The shoot was a tough one, given the remote locale in Harlan, population 1,800. Harlan is incidentally also the regional locale for the gritty and popular FX cable series “Justified,” about a U.S. marshal working the same crime-ridden mountain towns.
“Above Suspicion” wrapped last Sunday, by which time cast and crew had bonded so well that the wrap was more like the end of summer camp, with hugs, email exchanges, and photos. Not all movie shoots end like that.
I’d never spent any time on a movie shoot before, and I went to Harlan anticipating that I would be politely received and then expected to stay out of the way. Instead, as a consultant for the movie, I was welcomed graciously by cast and crew, and invited to remain on the set — even to the point where Phillip Noyce, the director, asked me to sit beside him as he directed key scenes, including the poignant final scene played by a radiant Emilia. I am confident that that last scene of hers will send audiences out of theaters with tears in their eyes, once the movie is released in 2017.
106.3 THE GROOVE – Joe Sharkey wrote his true-crime book ‘Above Suspicion’ nearly 25 years ago. And in a year’s time, he’ll see it come alive on the big screen.
“It’s a tragic and sad story,” said Sharkey. “Now why would anyone want to make a movie out of that, let alone a book? I mean my question was why? But it’s so sad and it’s so human and it’s complex and it’s so psychologically intricate that it interested me.”
Sharkey is an adjunct instructor in the University of Arizona School of Journalism. He wrote the book in one year after heavily researching and interviewing people from the incident.
The book follows the true story of FBI Agent Mark Putnam played by Jack Huston, who moved to a small Kentucky town after finishing at the academy.
He begins an affair with an informant named Susan Smith played by Emilia Clarke from Game of Thrones. Their relationship turns deadly when Putnam strangles Smith in an argument and dumps her body down a mountain. Putnam is sentenced to 16 years in prison and became the first FBI agent convicted of murder.
“When they finally said ‘we’re making the movie’ I was very skeptical,” said Sharkey.
Sharkey spent the last few months in Kentucky consulting on the set of the movie. He said the film’s director Phillip Noyce set up a director’s chair for him and had him watch every scene. He also helped edit the screenplay to bring the story back to the human characters rather than an action-packed drama.
He says the movie did what he couldn’t in the book; bring the tragic character of Susan Smith to life.
“It’s been 25 years, I think about this girl that I never knew a lot because something about her just gripped me,” he said. “Just interested me how sad and tragic she really was. You would have liked her if you know what I mean.”
He said he became close friends with the cast and crew and that he was impressed with how well the actors brought the movie to life. He said Emilia Clarke completely owned the role of Susan Smith.
“That was an adventure and I thought ‘wow that was unexpected,'” said Sharkey. “I was delighted that I had gone.”
He says the movie is set to hit theaters some time in 2017. (source)