When is the 'Game of Thrones' prequel's release date?
According to EW, the pilot will begin filming in early summer 2019. They noted that a full season of scripts came together swimmingly, so if HBO picks up the pilot that's on schedule to shoot, it's likely production would resume shortly after, which looks like a potential 2020 release is in the cards.
HBO programming president Casey Bloys told THR that the pilot was scheduled for a June 2019 shoot and "you can do the math and figure out when it would be on air." The answer to that equation? A 2020 release seems potential, given HBO has to pick up the pilot and then production would need to resume shortly after. He said, "What I'm not doing is working backwards by saying, 'This has to be on the air by this date.' We want to do the best show possible. This is a pilot, so we're doing it the old-fashioned way, which is shooting a pilot. My expectation is it will be great and we'll move forward and it'll move along on a regular TV timetable."
Wait, aren't there supposed to be at least five spinoff series?
Yes, and neither GRRM nor HBO have forgotten! In May 2019, the writer took to his blog to offer an update, saying, "We have had five different Game of Thrones successor shows in development (I mislike the term 'spin-offs') at HBO, and three of them are still moving forward nicely," Martin wrote. "The one I am not supposed to call The Long Night will be shooting later this year, and two other shows remain in the script stage, but are edging closer. What are they about? I cannot say. But maybe some of you should pick up a copy of Fire & Blood and come up with your own theories." Fire & Blood is about the history of the Targaryen family, so it seems likely that that will be at least in part be the focus of one of the forthcoming series, but little is known about the third in the works.
Despite these plans for additional scripts being out in the ether, though, HBO's Bloys made an effort to drill in the danger of getting too excited about them to THR by saying, "There are no plans currently to put anything more in development. We're not actively looking or going beyond what we've got in the current pilot." And definitely don't bet on seeing any of the characters from GoT in any sort of sequels because when asked about whether someone like Arya Stark, or anyone else who survived the finale might see a continuation of their story, he said, "Nope, nope, nope. No."
"I don't want to take characters from this world in [Game of Thrones] that [D.B. Weiss and David Benioff] did beautifully and put them off into another world with someone else creating it. I want to let it be the artistic piece they've got. That's one of the reasons why I'm not trying to do the same show over. George has a massive, massive world; there are so many ways in," he said.
So, really, truly, officially say goodbye those characters if you haven't already. Ultimately, it sounds like they're trying to be especially careful with whatever future projects drawn from GRRM's universe they might be working on, taking things one step at a time and not looking back on what they've already created.
Fans of Thrones are no strangers to waiting, though, so you can hold out for a bit longer. But in the meantime, check back for more updates as they're announced.