Earlier this spring, George R.R. Martin mused on the possibility that the HBO series inspired by his work might need to wrap up with a big-budget feature film. Since then it’s pretty much all anybody can ask the people behind Game of Thrones about, and Martin wants to set the record straight: it wasn’t his idea, but he’s into it.
In a masterclass yesterday at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland, Martin was asked during a Q&A about his thoughts regarding a possible Game of Thrones movie. He answered:
You know, this idea has been kicking around for a while. I have been asked about this, and somehow misconception is getting out that I’m the one that’s urging that we end the series with a movie. Let me make it clear that I’m not: I think it’s a good idea, but it’s not my idea to end this with a series of big movies. The question that we face with the show is that the books continue to get bigger and bigger, and the show really can’t get much bigger. We’re the most expensive show on television, the most expensive show in the world right now, and we have the biggest cast as far as I know. We can’t keep adding characters and making the show more and more expensive. We’re pushing up against the limits there, so we either have to make some cuts going forward and simplify the story, or we have to increase the format. And of course, one way to do that, one way to get a lot more money, is to go with a motion picture budget rather than a television budget. A big fantasy motion picture—like one of the Peter Dinklage things—you have $200 million for three hours, while one of our shows, we have $60 million for ten hours.
Presumably he’s referring to Dinklage’s role as Trumpkin in Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, which had a budget, over 40% of which—about $100 million—went to effects. While I don’t know that a movie would lend itself well to all those spillions of added characters he mentions, the premise makes sense: the story is only going to get more complicated as the series progresses, and at a certain point HBO money just isn’t going to cut it.
Speaking of complications, Martin also teased that their paltry funds might be getting used on some super cool special effects, if they can find just the right way to stretch the budget (bolding ours):
I happen to know—someone has told me, some source that I won’t name—that there will be some major battles coming up, and some dragon action, and some stuff with The Wall and White Walkers that looks to be kind of expensive. How are we gonna do that, I don’t know. But I’m not saying that they’re gonna happen, please don’t misquote me here. It’s not my idea, it’s just an idea that I’ve endorsed, let us say. I’d love to see it, but I think the odds are probably against it, it’s probably not going to happen. But maybe—who knows? One season at a time.
What? What? Dragon action? I want the dragon action! Can HBO start a Kickstarter, maybe?
If it behooves you, the entire session is available on the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival’s livestream (you have to scroll to about 24 minutes in for it to start). Martin also talked about science fiction, feminism, and practicing the craft of writing—topics which are all pretty relevant to our collective interests, I would imagine.
(via Winter is Coming, image via HBO)
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