The show, under the working title Bloodmoon, was originally announced in 2018 and took place 8,000 years before events in Game Of Thrones. The pilot of the show, starring Naomi Watts and Jamie Campbell Bower, reportedly cost between $30million and $35million (£29million) to shoot.
Despite the huge budget, Bloodmoon was cancelled by HBO in 2019 before it saw the light of day. The announcement was coupled with the reveal of a new spin-off, House Of The Dragon, set to premiere on August 21.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO chief content officer, Casey Bloys, addressed the show’s cancellation. “[Bloodmoon] required a lot more invention; it was higher risk, higher reward,” Bloys said. “There wasn’t anything glaringly wrong with it. Development and pilots are hard.”
Robert Greenblatt, former chairman of HBO’s parent company WarnerMedia, added: “It wasn’t unwatchable or horrible or anything. It was very well produced and looked extraordinary. But it didn’t take me to the same place as the original series.
“It didn’t have that depth and richness that the original series’ pilot did.”
Jane Goldman was hired as showrunner on Bloodmoon. Alongside Watts and Campbell Bower, the show’s cast included Josh Whitehouse, Denise Gough, Naomi Ackie, Ivanno Jeremiah, Sheila Atim, Toby Regbo and Alex Sharp.
House Of The Dragon is set 200 years before Game Of Thrones and is based on George R.R. Martin’s novel Fire & Blood. The series follows the Targaryen family during the Dance of the Dragons – a civil war among House Targaryen for the Iron Throne.
The spin-off stars Paddy Considine, Emma D’Arcy, Eve Best, Matt Smith, Olivia Cooke, Steve Toussaint, Fabien Frankel, Sonoya Mizuno and Rhys Ifans.
There’s many other Game Of Thrones spin-offs in the works, with three other live-action shows and an animated series in development.