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“Game of Thrones” fans know they’ll have to wait until 2019 to witness the HBO epic end — but that doesn’t mean they’re happy about it. Still, there’s a very good reason to take 2018 off, HBO Programming chief Casey Bloys told TheWrap Thursday at the Television Critics Association press tour.
The delay is “totally driven” by letting David Benioff and D.B. Weiss do the version of Season 8 that they’re “most proud of,” Bloys said.
More specifically, it’s “both the actual production and then the post, and the special effects,” he responded when we pushed for specifics on the longer-than-expected gap between runs.
The scripts are all written for the six-episode wrap-up, Bloys told us. We previously knew that production probably wouldn’t wrap until August 2018 — that sounds unchanged.
“We are very much talent-first,” Bloys elaborated. “We respond to talent. Dave and [Weiss] write scripts that are great, that they’re happy with, that we’re thrilled with. We have a fantastic production team at HBO and on the ground on ‘Game of Thrones.’ And when they get together and basically assess, like, ‘OK, here are the scripts we have. Here’s what it’s gonna take to produce it. Here’s special effects. Here’s finishing the cuts’ and all that. They came to us with their estimate of when it can be ready.”
So yes, winter is coming — just not this year. Though Bloys could have forced the issue, he supposes.
“Could we force them to do something — to come back early? I suppose we could force it,” he said. “No. 1, that’s not what we do; and No. 2, we have a relationship where we trust each other. If they tell us, ‘This is the time we need,’ we’re gonna give them the time they need.”
With huge TV ratings, four (or possibly five) spinoffs coming, and as many Emmys already in HBO’s trophy case — we’d say that is a wise approach.