The Original "Game Of Thrones" Prequel With Naomi Watts Cost Over $30 Million To Make Before This Media Exec Decided To Cancel It

The Original "Game Of Thrones" Prequel With Naomi Watts Cost Over $30 Million To Make Before This Media Exec Decided To Cancel It
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The Original "Game Of Thrones" Prequel With Naomi Watts Cost Over $30 Million To Make Before This Media Exec Decided To Cancel It

It was an expensive mistake.

2RPJqxXf9_large.jpg?crop=486%3A486%3B13%2C6&downsize=60:*&output-format=jpg&output-quality=autoby Emily Mae Czachor

BuzzFeed Staff


It's been a minute since Game of Thrones wrapped. And while the show's much-discussed series finale may have divided — and disappointed — some fans, many of us are still planning to tune in when the prequel, House of the Dragon, premieres some time next year.


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HBO Max / @gameofthrones / Via

As you might know already, House of the Dragon pulls its plot from George R.R. Martin's novel Fire & Blood, and focuses on the House Targaryen during a civil war set several centuries prior to the beginning of GoT.

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HBO Max / Via

Matt Smith, Paddy Considine, Olivia Cooke, Emma D'Arcy, Steve Toussaint, Rhys Ifans, and Fabien Frankel will star in the upcoming spinoff.

Interestingly enough, the original plans for a Game of Thrones prequel looked remarkably different from those we'll eventually watch take shape onscreen.


HBO Max / Via

Naomi Watts was set to lead the spinoff series, tentatively called Bloodmoon — alongside Josh Whitehouse, Georgie Henley, Toby Regbo, Naomi Ackie, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Denise Gough, and Alex Sharp — but Bob Greenblatt, the former chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment, decided to cancel the show and create House of the Dragon instead.

Filmmagic / FilmMagic for HBO, Sean Zanni / Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Production on Bloodmoon was underway at the time. HBO Max had put together a pilot episode, which apparently cost the studio $30 million to make. At least.


HBO Max / Via

"They had spent over $30 million on a Game Of Thrones prequel pilot when I got there," said Bob in a recently published book, Tinderbox: HBO's Ruthless Pursuit Of New Frontiers, by journalist James Andrew Miller.


HBO Max / Via

"And when I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to [HBO chief content officer] Casey [Bloys], 'This just doesn't work and I don't think it delivers on the premise of the original series," he recalled, noting that Casey "didn't disagree, which was actually a relief."


Presley Ann / Getty Images for WarnerMedia

"So we unfortunately decided to pull the plug on [Bloodmoon]," the former executive continued, explaining that "there was enormous pressure to get it right and I don't think it would have worked."


Presley Ann / Getty Images for WarnerMedia

"They made the first pilot because they were protecting their own downside and protecting that brand, which I understand," he added. "But it was critical that we somehow continue that franchise and move quickly, which meant getting the series into production ASAP."

So, yeah, it sounds like Bloodmoon was a very expensive mistake. Want to know what else costs $30 million? A ticket to space with Jeff Bezos. Or 1,000 US college graduates's student loans...

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