One Game of Thrones prequel series scrapped — another goes ahead

HBO is green-lighting a new Game of Thrones prequel after reportedly cancelling another that starred Naomi Watts.

Prequel starring Naomi Watts not happening, but HBO confirms plans for 'House of the Dragon'

HBO has scrapped a prequel series that had been slated to expand the world of Game of Thrones. (Bell Media/HBO)

HBO is green-lighting a new Game of Thrones prequel after reportedly cancelling another that starred Naomi Watts.

The cable channel said Tuesday that it's given a 10-episode order to House of the Dragon, set 300 years before the original series.

The prequel is based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood, HBO said. The new drama was co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal, whose credits include Colony.

It will focus on House Targaryen, made famous in Game of Thrones by Emilia Clarke's Daenerys and her fearsome dragons.

The series was announced by HBO programming president Casey Bloys during a presentation for HBO Max, the streaming service launching in May 2020.

A spinoff of the megahit Game of Thrones would be a key attraction in the increasingly crowded streaming marketplace.

HBO declined comment on reports Tuesday that it had dropped another Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts that was set thousands of years before the original.

Industry outlets DeadlineVariety and Hollywood Reporter reported Tuesday that a pilot episode of the sprawling, untitled series was shot in June. 

Game of Thrones wrapped with a divisive final season in May, though it won a dozen Emmy Awards for its final instalments.

The straight-to-series order for House of the Dragon, whether a sign of faith in the project or pressure to get it into production, avoids letting devotees of the fantasy saga down once more.

Casting and an air date were not announced.

The news came one day after Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss exited a highly touted deal with Lucasfilm for a planned trilogy of Star Wars feature films, the first of which had been slated to hit theatres in December 2022. This summer, the pair signed a $250 million US deal with streaming giant Netflix.

With files from CBC News