Game Of Thrones heads for Broadway.
A spectacular dramatic show based on the fantasy world of George RR Martin is in development, Hollywood journalist learned exclusively.
The play is by producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson (The illusionists), in partnership with Kilburn Live, and will have a story by Martin, who works alongside award-winning playwright Duncan MacMillan (1984) and famous director Dominic Cooke (The mail). The team’s goal is to launch productions in New York, London’s West End and Australia. The first show is slated to launch in 2023.
The production includes a particularly unique story element that should attract fans enormously: while many prequel projects have been in development since Thrones concluded in 2019, it will be the first to bring back several of the most beloved Game Of Thrones characters. The still-untitled play takes place at a pivotal moment in Westeros history, The Great Tourney at Harrenhal, a competition that took place just 16 years before the events of Game Of Thrones.
“The play will take audiences for the first time deeper behind the scenes of a historic event that was previously shrouded in mystery,” the play’s official description reads. “Starring many of the series’ most iconic and well-known characters, the production will boast a story centered on love, revenge, madness and the dangers of prophecy, revealing secrets and lies that have only been suggested. until now. “
In Westeros tradition, the Grand Tournament took place over 10 days and was considered the largest competitive event in Westeros history, featuring tournaments in jousting, archery and more. No character has yet been officially confirmed for the play. But according to Martin’s previously published books, attendees at the event included a young and shy Ned Stark, his rebellious sister Lyanna, the arrogant teenager Jaime Lannister, the mighty Lord Robert Baratheon, the beloved prince Rhaegar Targaryen, the dashing prince. Oberyn Martell and the noble knight Ser Barristan Selmy. , among many others (keep in mind that the Martin Westeros timeline is different from the HBO series as the series had to age several characters in order to hire actors capable of working with adult material). Some other characters who were there during this time that could also, in theory, be included in the series include Cersei Lannister, Tywin Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Littlefinger, and Varys. The youngest characters in the series – such as Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Arya Stark – were not yet born. At the end of the event, Prince Rhaegar publicly declared his love for Robert’s fiancée, Lyanna Stark – a decision that led to Robert’s rebellion and the overthrow of the Targaryens.
“The seeds of war are often planted in peacetime,” Martin said in a statement. “Few in Westeros knew the carnage to come when adults and children alike gathered in Harrenhal to watch the kingdom’s finest knights compete against each other in a grand tournament, during the Year of False Spring. This is a tournament often referred to during HBO Game Of Thrones, and in my novels, A Song of Ice & Fire… and now, finally, we can tell the whole story… on stage.
The franchise expansion on stage is reminiscent of JK Rowling’s move following the conclusion of the author’s Harry Potter saga. Rowling unveiled a two-part stage show packed with special effects, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which featured fan favorite characters from a very different time period than his books. Cursed child debuted in London in 2016, then spread to Broadway, Melbourne and Toronto. By 2019, Cursed child was reportedly the highest-grossing non-musical in Broadway history, making over $ 146 million until it was shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.
Martin’s addition about the Thrones production: “A great team has been assembled to tell the story, starting with producers Simon Painter, Tim Lawson and Jonathan Sanford. Their knowledge and love of my world and my characters impressed me from the start, and their plans for this production have blown me away from the first time we met. Dominic Cooke, our director, is a former artistic director of the Royal Court Theater in London, who brought Shakespeare’s dramas of the War of the Roses to television, and our playwright, Duncan Macmillan, has previously adapted George Orwell and Henrik Ibsen, among others. Working with them (before the pandemic, when we could actually get together) was a treat, and I can’t wait for our collaboration to resume. Our dream is to bring Westeros to Broadway, the West End, Australia … and finally, to a stage near you … It should be spectacular.
(The War of the Roses, by the way, was also one of Martin’s real inspirations for ASOIAF).
MacMillan’s theatrical work includes Lungs; People, places and things; Every thing shining; and an adaptation of 1984. His work has been performed around the world, including at the National Theater, Old Vic, Royal Court, West End, and Broadway. His on-screen work has appeared on the BBC, HBO, Netflix, and at film festivals in Berlin and London.
“I have such admiration for the world of George and his characters,” said MacMillan. “His generosity and confidence during this process has been incredible. Working on this part during the lockdown felt like a real privilege. I can’t wait to be back in a theater to experience this together.
Director Cooke was previously artistic director of the Royal Court Theater in London from 2007 to 2013. His production of Sondheim Follies at the National Theater, where he is associated, was nominated for 10 Olivier awards. He has recently appeared on television and in the cinema with several titles including The mail with Benedict Cumberbatch.
“I am delighted to have the opportunity, by the dynamic production team of Tim Lawson, Simon Painter and Kilburn Live, to bring a new episode of George RR Martin’s epic story to life on stage,” said Cooke. “One of George’s inspirations for the original books was Shakespeare’s story pieces, so the material naturally lends itself to theater. Duncan MacMillan and I have a great time digging into the dynastic power struggles at the heart of George’s extraordinary imaginative world and he has been extremely generous and supportive to both of us.
HBO is not officially involved in the project at this point, but has the option of investing in production at a later date. Besides Painter and Lawson, Vince Gerardis and Jonathan Sanford will also be executive producers.
The news comes on the heels of Martin signing a new comprehensive five-year agreement with HBO to create content for the network. HBO already has one Game Of Thrones prequel, Dragon house, which premieres in 2022, and has at least five more in various stages of development for HBO and HBO Max.