Entertainment

Naomi Watts tapped for 1st Game of Thrones prequel

Naomi Watts is heading to Westeros, with the Oscar-nominated actor signing on to star in the pilot of the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel for HBO.

Kingsman screenwriter Jane Goldman teamed with GOT creator George R.R. Martin for pilot

Naomi Watts, seen attending the 2018 Venice Film Festival in September, has signed on to appear in the first follow-up Game of Thrones series. (Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)
  Naomi Watts is heading to Westeros, with the Oscar-nominated actor signing on to star in the pilot of the upcoming  Game of Thrones prequel for HBO. 

Watts, an Academy Award contender for her turns in 21 Grams and The Impossible, will play "a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret," according to Entertainment Weekly and Variety.

The prequel  — the first of five potential new series to get the green light — is set thousands of years before the events of HBO's current Game of Thrones, which is based on the Song of Ice and Fire novel series by author George R.R. Martin.

  The as-yet untitled series was created by British screenwriter Jane Goldman, who worked with Martin on her concept.
British screenwriter Jane Goldman, whose credits include X-Men: First Class, the Kingsman films and Kick-Ass, worked with George R.R. Martin to develop the new prequel series. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Their new tale "will chronicle the world's descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour," according to an HBO statement issued in June.

  "Only one thing is for sure: From the horrifying secrets of Westeros' history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it's not the story we think we know."

Both HBO and Martin have said fans should not expect to see the same characters return in any of the forthcoming follow-up productions.

HBO executives have said any follow-up series wouldn't air until a year after Game of Thrones ends. (HBO Canada/Bell Media)

HBO will order a full series depending on how the pilot fares, but audiences will still be waiting for a few years for any new production. 

  The eighth and final season of  Game of Thrones is slated to air in 2019 and HBO executives have previously said any of the related new productions would not be broadcast until at least a year after the original's series finale.

Born in the U.K and raised in Australia, Watts is known for roles in films such as The Ring, Mulholland Drive, King Kong and I Heart Huckabees. She was also seen in the revival of Twin Peaks and is set to appear as Gretchen Carlson in an upcoming Showtime limited series about Roger Ailes.

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