Break out the bubbly, ‘Game of Thrones’ fans: The Targaryens are returning to HBO, and soon.
By Mariam Abdullahi
Over at Variety, it has been reported that ‘House of the Dragon’, HBO’s first spin-off series of its record-breaking smash-hit ‘Game of Thrones’ will premiere on August 21, as the network announced today, Wednesday.
Taking place two centuries before the events of ‘Game of Thrones’, the ten-episode prequel series will depict how the House of Targaryen fell into a bitter and brutal civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, presaging the beginning of the end of the ruling family of Westeros.
Created by author George R. R. Martin and Ryan J. Condal, the series is based on Martin’s novel ‘Fire & Blood’. Much like the original series, it boasts a robust cast, with a smaller set of main characters including Paddy Considine (as King Viserys I), Emmy D’Arcy (as Princess Rhaenrya, Viserys’ first child and his heir apparent), Matt Smith (as Prince Daemon, Viserys’ younger brother), Rhys Ifans (as Ser Otto Hightower, the Hand of the King), Olivia Cooke (as Lady Alicent Hightower, Otto’s daughter) and Fabien Frankel (as Ser Criston Cole, a knight with eyes for Rhaenrya).
The premiere date means ‘House of the Dragon’ will debut earlier than 2022’s other major fantasy series, Amazon Prime Video’s trip to Middle Earth, a prequel to the widely popular and acclaimed original, with the newest one head-scratchingly titled ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power’, which will debut on September 2 this year.
Per the Variety report, in February, Martin announced on his personal blog that shooting on Season 1 of ‘House of the Dragon’ had wrapped. “I have seen rough cuts of a few of them, and I’m loving them,” Martin wrote.
The same month, HBO and HBO Max chief Casey Bloys said “it’s probably a pretty good bet” that the network will order a second season of the show. “Generally speaking, we usually let something air and see how it does, but obviously, we’ll make preparations ahead of time to make sure we’re ahead of the game,” he said.
‘Spider-Man Noir’ live-action series in the works at Amazon
A Spider-Man Noir live-action series is in the works at Amazon, GeekAfrique has learned via a Variety report. The untitled series will follow an older, grizzled superhero in 1930s New York City. An individual with knowledge of the project says that the show will be set in its own universe and the main character will not be Peter Parker.
This is the second known project based on the Sony-controlled Marvel characters at Amazon Prime Video and MGM+. It was previously announced that Amazon was moving forward with the series ‘Silk: Spider Society’ from showrunner Angela Kang, with several other shows in the works. It is unknown at this time which other Marvel characters will be featured in the other Amazon shows, though Sony currently controls over 900 such characters associated with the Spider-Man franchise.
The Spider-Man Noir comics originally debuted in 2009 as part of the Marvel Noir universe. That version of the iconic superhero lives in New York during the Great Depression. He is bitten by a spider hidden inside a stolen artifact, causing him to have visions of a spider-god who grants him superpowers. Nicolas Cage voiced the character in ‘Into the Spider-Verse’.
The Amazon show will be the first live-action iteration of Spider-Man Noir.
Sony has released multiple Spider-Man live-action films in the past and currently works with Marvel Studios on the rebooted film franchise starring Tom Holland via Columbia Pictures. Sony is also behind ‘Into the Spider-Verse’, which won the Academy Award for best animated film in 2019. Two sequels to that film are currently in the works, with the first — ‘Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse’ — due out in June 2023.
‘Spartacus’ sequel series in the works
A sequel to hit historical drama series ‘Spartacus’ is in development, with Steven S. DeKnight, who created the original series, serving as showrunner and executive producer. ‘Spartacus’ was inspired by the story of the gladiator of the same name who incited a massive slave rebellion against Rome in the year 73 BC. Per the logline, the sequel series will be set after the defeat of Spartacus and his revolution, depicting “a new tale of treachery, deceit and blood unfolding beneath the foreboding shadow of Rome.”
The original show debuted in 2010, with Season 1 carrying the title ‘Spartacus: Blood and Sand’. Starz then debuted a prequel limited series, ‘Spartacus: Gods of the Arena’ in 2011, before producing two more seasons of the flagship titled ‘Vengeance’ (2012) and ‘War of the Damned’ (2013).
The sequel series will be produced by Lionsgate Television.
‘God of War’ live-action TV series ordered at Amazon
A live-action adaptation of PlayStation’s hit video game franchise ‘God of War’ has been ordered to series at Amazon’s Prime Video, with ‘Wheel of Time’ boss Rafe Judkins set as showrunner. Based on the massively popular 2018 video game, the show follows Kratos, the God of War, who, after exiling himself from his blood-soaked past in ancient Greece, hangs up his weapons forever in the Norse realm of Midgard, per Amazon’s description. When his beloved wife dies, Kratos sets off on a dangerous journey with his estranged son Atreus to spread her ashes from the highest peak — his wife’s final wish. Kratos soon realizes the journey is an epic quest in disguise, one which will test the bonds between father and son, and force Kratos to battle new gods and monsters for the fate of the world.
“‘God of War’ is a compelling, character-driven franchise that we believe will captivate our global customers as much with its expansive and immersive worlds as its rich storytelling,” Vernon Sanders, head of global television at Amazon Studios, said. “We are honored to share in the adventure of exploring the God of War mythology in such a momentous way with Sony Pictures Television, PlayStation Productions, and Santa Monica Studio.”
The ‘God of War’ TV series marks the latest show based on a video game that is either in the works or in production, including Amazon’s ‘Fallout’ adaptation from ‘Westworld’ creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, HBO’s ‘The Last of Us’ (based on another PlayStation property), Paramount+’s ‘Halo’, the Anthony Mackie-led ‘Twisted Metal’ at Peacock, among others.
“We are so proud and excited to be working with our friends at Amazon Studios and our partners at PlayStation Productions to adapt this beautiful and heart-breaking game into a premium live-action series,” Katherine Pope, president of Sony Pictures Television Studios, said.”
A sequel to the 2018 ‘God of War’ game, titled ‘God of War: Ragnarok’, was just released last month. At last week’s Game Awards, it won for best narrative, action/adventure game, score/music, audio design, performance for Kratos actor Christopher Judge and innovation in accessibility.