George R.R. Martin Says a GAME OF THRONES Movie Is Being Discussed; Outlines Plan for the Show Not to Catch Up to His Books

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Game of Thrones is a juggernaut of a TV series.  Not only is it incredibly popular on HBO, but home video sales are a massive money-maker for the network and the fandom surrounding the series has reached massive proportions.  The series is, of course, based on author George R.R. Martin’s sprawling book series A Song of Ice and Fire, and while the production value of the HBO adaptation is impressive, fans have often wondered what Game of Thrones would look like on the big screen.

According to Martin, the prospect of a Game of Thrones movie is actually in active discussion, though it appears to be very, very early in the process so nothing’s quite firmed up.  Read his full comments after the jump, which include his plan for how the TV show (hopefully) won’t catch up to his book series.

game-of-thrones-season-4-emilia-clarke-nathalie-emmanuelWhile speaking with THR, Martin said the prospect of a Game of Thrones movie is being actively discussed:

“It all depends on how long the main series runs. Do we run for seven years? Do we run for eight? Do we run for 10? The books get bigger and bigger [in scope]. It might need a feature to tie things up, something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know.”

The author also conceded that his series of Song of Ice and Fire prequel novellas Tales of Dunk and Egg could serve as the inspiration for the feature:

“They could be the basis for [a film]. I have written these three stories, and I have about a dozen more.”

Clearly a Game of Thrones movie isn’t in active development just yet, but HBO will no doubt want to reap the benefits of the series once the show comes to an end; a feature film could be just the way to go out with a (very lucrative) bang in addition to a sure-to-be glorious Blu-ray box set.  It’s also not out of character for HBO, which made two Sex and the City movies and is currently in production on an Entourage movie.

game-of-thrones-season-4-peter-dinklage-sibel-kekilliAs for the end of the series, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss recently said that they envision Game of Thrones likely coming to an end with season seven or eight, which puts the finale airing in 2017 or 2018 if they stick to their current production schedule.  Considering that Martin still has two final Game of Thrones novels to publish and he’s known for, um, taking his time, that’s not too far off.

The issue of the TV show coming to an end before Martin publishes the final novel, A Dream of Spring, is not new, but now that Benioff and Weiss are seriously thinking about the endgame, it’s becoming a genuine threat.  Martin is all too aware of the problem, but in an extensive and fascinating interview with Vanity Fair, he explained his hope that the book series will finish first:

“I’m hopeful that I cannot let them catch up with me. The season that’s about to debut covers the second half of the third book. The third book [A Storm of Swords] was so long that it had to be split into two. But there are two more books beyond that, A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons. A Dance With Dragons is itself a book that’s as big as A Storm of Swords. So there’s potentially three more seasons there, between Feast and Dance, if they split into two the way they did [with Storms].

Now, Feast and Dance take place simultaneously. So you can’t do Feast and then Dance the way I did. You can combine them and do it chronologically. And it’s my hope that they’ll do it that way and then, long before they catch up with me, I’ll have published The Winds of Winter, which’ll give me another couple years. It might be tight on the last book, A Dream of Spring, as they juggernaut forward.”

Though that sounds like a nice plan, it doesn’t seem to jibe with Benioff and Weiss’ seven or eight-season cap.  Regardless, in the near future we have season four to look forward to, which premieres on HBO Sunday, April 6th.

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  • Redjester

    I’m beginning to think Martin only devotes a half hour a day to writing, you know, his day job…

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    • ikkf

      He seems to spend at least 8 hours a day blogging about his sword collection, NFL football, politics, and trying to get his readers to buy pieces of his miniatures collection.

    • pinkincide

      Or maybe he’s got a bunch written and is holding it back.

    • The Flobbit

      I swear someone needs to tie him to a chair and hobble his ankles, Misery style. Only way this is getting done.

      • ikkf

        He is probably the most undisciplined writer in the history of writers.

      • Christopher

        You clearly haven’t met many writers in your day.

  • elikias

    I think Benioff and Weiss understand how to adapt Feast and Dance for television, and that’s built into the “7 or 8 seasons” comment – they will likely adapt them into 1 or 2 seasons and cut out all the fat that Martin wrote. This is a way to adapt them so that they don’t suck to watch as much as they did to read…

    • the king of comedy

      A agree, those books don`t need to be expanded in more seasons, I really hope the story plays better on TV than it did on the books. Splitting A storm of Swords made much sense since things go crazy in that book, I`m pretty confident season 4 will be the best of all, I can already see episode 9 in my head involving The Red Vyper, The Mountain, Tyrion, Tywin, Arya and the Hound

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  • DPW

    Geez, why not have it run for twenty seasons and bilk the fans real good? Good golly, GRRM is talking like a suit and not a writer. This series should be viewed as a trilogy. Feast and Dance were subpar. How about this GRRM? Could you maybe stop directing your energies towards writing books no one cares about and put that time into making the series that made you just slightly better? Check out his blog…insane to me what he spends his time on. As a serious fan of his since the nineties, sad to see. Just glad Weiss and Benioff are keeping him honest. Great show runners who sound like they have a plan for fans.

    • jack

      I love when people make broad statements like “books no one cares about” that seem to speak for more than the one person you’re actually speaking for. Point me in the direction of your series of novels or towards your Song of Ice and Fire fanfiction. We’ll see how you measure up.

      • DPW

        Let me guess, you were one of the 4 people to buy the Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister, or other GRRM gems that cater to a few thousand fans when he is neglecting an international bestselling series? Do you really think Feast and Dance were good? Were they even remotely close to Game, Kings, or Swords? It would be forgivable if he at least acted like he was trying to finish Kong. C’mon dude. Are you on his payroll? And why do I have to write novels to comment? Do you have to be a movie director to have an opinion on a movie? Lame comparison.

      • pinkincide

        Yes, we’re all on his payroll, and you’ve revealed the great conspiracy of GRRM paying people to like his books.
        Here’s a radical idea: if you don’t like a book, don’t read it.

      • DPW

        I agree with that last statement. That’s why I will never buy Wit and Wisdom of Tyrion Lannister!

      • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

        It’s weird, because in between the ranting you do have a point, the two books that he had troubles finishing ended up as less than what preceded them.
        But:

        He’ll tell us when the books are finished. He’s a creative person, not a writing machine. Building a web as intricate as ASoIaF takes a lot of work, but also a lot of careful consideration. If he does other things in the meantime, that’s his prerogative. He doesn’t OWE you any books, you are not entitled to any answers about his story.

      • DPW

        You’re right that he is not a writing machine. He is a professional writer paid millions with money generated by fans like us. Couldn’t agree more that this series must take an intensive amount of time and thought, which is why I’m suggesting that perhaps GRRM put some lesser projects on the back burner for the next few years and finish the series that will be his legacy for generations to come.

        As for owing me, as fans GRRM owes all of us a legitimate ending to ASoIaF. When Jordan passed, the family brought Sanderson in to finish WoT. Why? Because they wanted Jordan’s fans to know how WoT ended. For his legacy to be completed. Authors have a certain responsibility to their fans (within reason).

        GRRM wrote the finest three fantasy books of all time in about 10 years (Game, Kings, Storm). He then took 12 years to write two books that weren’t even close to as good. If Feast and Dance were good, even solid, I wouldn’t complain, but it seems the world is full of GRRMlins apologists that keep defending Martin even as he lets them down.

      • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

        “…which is why I’m suggesting that perhaps GRRM put some lesser projects
        on the back burner for the next few years and finish the series that
        will be his legacy for generations to come.” – What I mean is, he can’t just shut the world out and pour the stuff in his head onto paper. He has to have a life that can inspire him to keep creating, to keep writing the books. That we have paid him isn’t reason enough. We got (quite enjoyable) books for that money.

        “As for owing me, as fans GRRM owes all of us a legitimate ending to ASoIaF.” – That’s just something we have to disagree on. He’ll write what he’ll write. If he decides to build up to a gigantic, epic battlefield with giants and dragons and direwolves and our heroes in mortal peril and the end it with a “…and then everybody died, the end.” then we are OWED nothing else. We are allowed to bitch and moan and complain and decide not to buy the books. But we can’t demand that he write something else. That is something we do not have the right to do.

      • DPW

        “He can’t just shut the world out and pour the stuff in his head onto paper.” Um, you make that sound like it might be tough, ahem, like a job or something…could it, maybe, just maybe be his job as a writer to do just that? Are there days when you wake up and don’t want to go to work? Yes. We all have those. But you do, why? Because that’s your job, it’s your responsibility. I’d venture to say Martin gets paid millions more than us and still doesn’t want to do his job.

        As for how the series ends, I completely agree. I have no say in that. I never said I did. Martin controls his story. All I’m arguing is he should not string his fans along. Very few care about his anthologies, his side projects, but he is dedicating real time to art books and miniatures at the expense of what made him one of the most acclaimed writers in modern day. That is sad.

      • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

        Yeah, but his “job” is a creative one. His obligation is only to his art. And I really mean that. However much he gets paid, or doesn’t get paid, is completely irrelevant. If it was only about the money and it was me, I would say “Know what, fuck it. I’m 65 years old, I have enough to live comfortably the rest of my life, I don’t have to put up with people nagging me about wanting to work at my own pace. Here’s book 6 for ya! ‘Chapter 1: Everybody died. The end’.”
        But he doesn’t, he keep toiling away at the books and they’ll be out when they’re out, you know? As impatient as it makes me (and I’m right there with you) there’s nothing I can do, and being upset with Martin certainly doesn’t help.

      • DPW

        Good convo. I wouldn’t mind that ending! Now, if Martin comes out with a Westeros cook book with all the food he writes about in Feast & Dance before WoW, I think I might have to revisit this thread. Groan, I don’t think I should have even put that out into the ether…

      • joeybot

        While this is true, once he signed on to a tv show, he pretty much needs to take care of business. They’re not going to wait around for him, and he seems to be under the impression they’re doing a lot more seasons than the showrunners are talking about. I think he’s doing some wishful thinking here.

      • joeybot

        While DPW is being hyperbolivc, the whole “show me yours” is really the worst thing to throw back. So you don’t get to have an opinion on a book, song, movie or painting unless you have done one of those things…and it has to be objectively better than what you criticize.

      • DPW

        Thanks Joeybot. By the way, for people interested in the latest on the series, check out Vanity Fair online. They talked with Weiss and Benioff about the series vs. books dilemma. Those two met with Martin and know the ending and what happens on a general level. It’s interesting to see that what Weiss/Benioff say & what George says as far as timing doesn’t jibe.

      • joeybot

        Exactly. They are clearly saying two different things. What Martin is saying sounds like total wish fulfillment, not reality. Personally, I don’t care if he finishes the books or not, haven’t read them and don’t plan to…but I love the show.

  • Hodor

    I would like a Prequel movie involving Robert’s Rebellion. Bring Back Sean Bean, and hire some good actors to play Rhaegar and Aerys, and really expand on the history and characters. That part of the story has always been interesting to me, plus it would include the epic battle between Robert and Rhaegar on the Trident.

    • http://tarek-to-verso.over-blog.com/ tarek

      Hodor!

      • ikkf

        Hot pie!

    • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

      I was gonna say, I think they’ll lay out that story in the main arc of the show, but I don’t think they do flashbacks at all. So it might not be a bad idea to have it put together as one story (instead of having it told in small bits here and there as it’s done in the books) and see it played out.

    • stephens

      That sounds incredible

    • DPW

      This is a badass idea, by the way…

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    Here’s hoping he doesn’t kick off before he’s finished.

    • pinkincide

      He’s got a massive bank of organ donors should the need arise.

    • ikkf

      I read somewhere that he hasn’t written the story arc anywhere and keeps it all in his head. Don’t know if that’s true, but it would be a bit worrisome if it was.

      • Spanky

        The hbo writers sat with him some time ago where he told them how it will all wrap up, story arcs for all the characters

      • ikkf

        That’s good to know!

  • ikkf

    Is The Winds of Winter done yet?

    • Daniel O’Reilly

      Last I heard, it was supposed to be out some time this year.

      • ikkf

        Fingers crossed…

      • AManWithAKilt

        He said in a Brazilian magazine not long ago: “…. maybe next year.” It caused a lot of people to panic suddenly, as if it coming out this year meant he could finish ADOS before the show ends.

    • Lee Harvey Cobblepot

      GRRM has stopped answering questions about how far along he is, because he missed so many of those deadlines he set for himself while he was writing Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons. We know nothing of when Winds will be out. He SAYS he can write about 500 pages per year and Winds will be about 1000 pages, but it’s now been three years (…right? Dance was in ’11 IIRC) and those 500 pages/year are sort of a best-case scenario.
      The quote in the article indicates he thinks he’ll be able to maybe to finish “Spring” in 4 or 5 years, which makes it sound to me like “Winter” is almost finished and will be released next year, and then he’ll try to write the last book in 4 years.

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  • the king of comedy

    I`m confident that season 4 will be amazing, I don`t think season 5 and 6 are going to be that great since the story doesn`t advance much forward in A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons, that`s why I wouldn`t like ADWD to splited in two seasons, doing it with A Storm of Swords made much sense since things go crazy in this season. This season will be amazing, for book readers, and trying to avoid spoilers, I believe that episode 9 will involve Oberyn Martell, The Mountain, Tyrion Lannister and Tywin Lannister, Arya and The Hound.

  • the king of comedy

    I`m confident that season 4 will be amazing, I don`t think season 5 and 6 are going to be that great since the story doesn`t advance much forward in A Feast for Crows and A Dance With Dragons, that`s why I wouldn`t like ADWD to splited in two seasons, doing it with A Storm of Swords made much sense since things go crazy in this season. This season will be amazing, for book readers, and trying to avoid spoilers, I believe that episode 9 will involve Oberyn Martell, The Mountain, Tyrion Lannister and Tywin Lannister, Arya and The Hound.

  • NatSolo

    it should be about robert’s rebellion and it should be released after the show wraps up. for all intents and purposes it would suck to find out about jon’s parentage through those events.

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  • Conor

    “He better”, eh? Who are you again?

  • Spanky

    Uh oh!! No you didn’t!!!

    Throwin’ it down! That guys gonna be gettin’ served!

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