TV Talk

Game of Thrones Prequel's Expected Premiere Date Revealed

Plus, The Outsider writer on adapting Stephen King, Mark Ruffalo puts on 30 lbs., The Plot Against America Zoe Kazan talks politics and family, and more.

by | January 15, 2020 | Comments

Wednesday’s portion of the winter Television Critics Association press tour was focused on all channels that are part of the WarnerMedia empire, including HBO, TNT, and truTV. This brought news ranging from a potential Game of Thrones prequel premiere date and portrayals of Stephen King characters in shows like HBO’s The Outsider to a release date and trailer for TNT’s Snowpiercer and an overall deal between Steven Soderbergh and HBO and HBO Max.


TOP STORY

RELEASE DATE NEWS FOR GAME OF THRONES PREQUEL HOUSE OF THE DRAGON 

Game of Thrones, season 5, episode 2 photo: courtesy of HBO
(Photo by HBO)

HBO’s programming chief Casey Bloys didn’t offer a formal executive session at the winter TCA, but he did do interviews with select outlets — all of which had obvious questions about the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, and whether there would be another season of Watchmen.

Bloys told Variety that his “best guess” is that we’ll see Dragon in 2022.

As for Watchmen? He defers to creator Damon Lindelof.

“He’s said publicly, if he’s got an idea, he’s willing to do it,” Bloys told the industry news outlet. “But nothing has come to him, so I will just wait on him and see what he decides to do.”


A HOLLY GIBNEY BY ANY OTHER SHOW …

Cynthia-Erivo-outsider
(Photo by Bob-Mahoney / HBO)

HBO miniseries The Outsider is just one of many adaptations of Stephen King novels that’s currently, or about to be, on television — many of which, like the author’s books, feature the same characters. How does that impact the various writers and actors bringing these stories to the small screen?

For his part, Outsider creator Richard Price doesn’t get hung up on other portrayals of his depiction of Holly Gibney (played in this story by Cynthia Erivo).

“With King’s blessing, I just made the character mine; not the Holly even in the novel The Outsider. I just wanted to do my thing,” he told journalists during his show’s TCA panel, adding that he’s “not answering to” the version of the character that David E. Kelley created for Audience Network’s Mr. Mercedes.

“Forget everything you know about that Holly, this is my Holly,” he said.

Erivo, who joined the panel via satellite from Tokyo, added that “I feel like the character is really fully realized. I was given a gift in the character and it was written very beautifully for me.”


MARK RUFFALO ON LIVING TWIN LIVES IN I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE

mark-ruffalo_i-know-this-much-is-true
(Photo by Atsushi Nishijima / HBO)

In HBO’s adaptation of Wally Lamb’s novel I Know This Much Is True, Mark Ruffalo stars as both protagonist Dominick Birdsey and his identical twin, Thomas. While they might look similar, the story focuses on the fact that Thomas has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

Filming required the actor to gain 30 pounds to play Thomas — an act that is not as much fun as it sounds, because Ruffalo said it was hard to force-feed himself.

But he also had to find differences between the brothers beyond the physical.

“Dominick is a man who grew up in an Italian household, and Thomas was more feminized,” Ruffalo told journalists at TCA of finding the two mens’ voices.

I Know This Much is True is written and directed by Derek Cianfrance and premieres in April.


THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA’S ZOE KAZAN TALKS POLITICS AND FAMILY

Zoe-Kazan-plot-against-america
(Photo by Michele K. Short / HBO)

On March 16, HBO will premiere The Plot Against America, creator David Simon’s adaptation of the 2004 Philip Roth novel. The story is a revisionist history that examines what would have happened, particularly to Jews in America, if aviator — and noted anti-Semite and anti-communist — Charles Lindbergh had been elected president. It also co-stars Zoe Kazan, whose grandfather, director Elia Kazan, was instrumental in the Hollywood blacklist scandal of the 1950s, naming members of the Communist Party to the House Committee on Un-American Activities, an association which ended the careers of many entertainment industry professionals when studios would no longer hire them.

Asked what it means to work on The Plot Against America given her grandfather’s history, the actress and writer silenced the room with her reply, saying she has given a lot of thought to her grandfather’s adaptation of the John Steinbeck novel East of Eden — specifically how a character in the book investigates the Hebrew word timshel:

“The question at hand is that God says to Cain, in some translations, ‘You can triumph over sin,’ and in some translations he says, ‘You will triumph over sin,'” Kazan recounted. “And Lee, this character in the book, does a kind of deep-dive into the actual word in Hebrew and what he comes up with is ‘Thou mayest.’ Thou mayest triumph over sin, but it’s in the hands of the next generation — that it’s a choice.

“I have not wanted to weigh in on my family’s political history, partially because of the other people it involves in my family who have prized their privacy over a public life. So I’m not going to go into it. But I will say that I thought a lot about how the history of our country affected my family’s history, what it meant for my grandfather as an immigrant to this country to have his Americanness tested and the choice that he made from that,” she continued.

“And I thought a lot about my own choices that I’ve made, the way that I choose to live my life. I think thou mayest choose a different life, and I think that the reason that Steinbeck put that in his book about the foundation of the West in this country is that it’s also about Americans choosing to recognize who they have been — Cain did kill his brother — but also recognize that they may choose a different future for themselves. I think it’s meaningful in the book that it comes out of the mouth of an immigrant. So those were the things that were on my mind as I worked on this. It was a profound experience for me working on this, personally, politically, artistically,” she said.


GREEN LANTERN, GOSSIP GIRL STILL ON TRACK FOR HBO MAX

greg berlanti green lantern
(Photo by Michael Bulbenko for the Paley Center)

HBO Max head of original content Sarah Aubrey confirmed to journalists Wednesday that Greg Berlanti’s plans for to air a Green Lantern TV series on the soon-to-launch streaming service are still very much happening.

She told journalists that “it’s going to span several decades on focus on two stories about Green Lanterns on Earth.” She also said that there will be a space side of the story that goes “into the Sinestro story,” referencing the villain and former Green Lantern Corps member. She said that the story will travel through various decades.

Aubrey also teased that things are looking good for all the Upper East Siders waiting for a Gossip Girl sequel update.

“We have gotten the first script, and I can tell you we all breathed a big sigh of relief because it’s very good,” she said of the new series written by Joshua Safran.


ABOUT THAT FRIENDS REUNION SPECIAL …

friends reunion special
(Photo by NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Things aren’t looking so promising for that Friends reunion special, however.

HBO Max chief creative officer Kevin Reilly told journalists at TCA that “there is interest all around and, yet, we can’t get the interests all alighted to push the button on it.” So, he said, “today it’s a maybe.”


AN END FOR INSECURE?

Issa Rae’s comedy Insecure has won critical and fan support for its honest depiction of a single (black) woman living in Los Angeles. But how much longer can it go on?

“We talk about where we want the show to go,” Rae said while promoting the new season at TCA. “I think we have an idea but, yeah, nothing we’re sharing yet.”

When asked by TCA reporters if she’s concerned about being an influencer through her show and whether she has qualms about some of the more risqué portrayals on her series, like marijuana use, Rae reminded the room of a few facts.

“One, we live in California, it’s legal. Two, we’re on HBO, there’s a TV-MA rating, so if anybody who is not supposed to be watching is watching, then you’re a bad parent,” she said to laughter.

Season 4 of Insecure premieres April 12.


MORE PREMIERE DATES

The press day also included news of other premiere dates. These include the long-awaited TV adaptation of director Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, which premieres May 31 on TNT.

Also, HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver is back February 16, and the second season of truTV’s Tacoma FD premieres March 26. New truTV series It’s Personal with Amy Hoggart and Hot Ones: The Game Show will premiere February 26 and February 18, respectively.

TBS has also ordered two new season of American Dad!


DEALS & DEVELOPMENT: ADAM MCKAY, STEPHEN SODERBERGH, WOLFGANG PUCK

ADAM MCKAY The Uninhabitable Earth
(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for WGAw)

HBO Max has partnered with Ant-Man screenwriter Adam McKay on upcoming series The Uninhabitable Earth, an anthology series based on the David Wallace-Wells book and New York magazine article. According to the release, it “will be comprised of stand-alone fictional stories covering a wide range of genres and possible futures that could result from the rapid warming of our planet.” McKay will write and direct the first episode.

Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh has signed a 3-year overall deal with HBO Max and HBO. His projects will include the previously-announced film Let Them All Talk. Starring Meryl Streep, CandiceBergen, Dianne Wiest, Lucas Hedges, and Gemma Chan, it follows a celebrated author who reconnects with old friends to have fun and heal old wounds. It will air in late 2020 on HBO Max.

HBO Max has also ordered the eight-episode unscripted series The Event, which will give a behind-the-scenes look at celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck’s catering company as they prepare to serve at A-list events.

Meanwhile, truTV has green-lit the unscripted family comedy Tirdy Works about artist Mary Winchenbach and her family. According to the release, Winchenbach’s talent is making “arts and crafts created out of moose turds.” And TBS has greenlit Lost Resort, which is described as a 10-episode social experiment that’s also “an upstairs/downstairs look at the booming subculture of exotic wellness retreats.”

HBO is also working with investigative reporter Ronan Farrow and Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady of Loki Films on a film that looks at the threats, intimidation, and violence directed at journalists while also working to expose corruption and abuse by governments, corporations, and other powerful interests.

And Clemency’s Chinonye Chukwu will direct the first two episodes of HBO Max’s Americanah. The limited series stars Lupita Nyong’o and is written by Danai Gurira based on the Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie novel about a Nigerian-born woman who comes to America.

Earlier this week, it was announced that Gael Garcia Bernal had joined the HBO Max limited series Station Eleven.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

Winners renewed TV shows Countdown hist TV renewals canceled TV shows harry potter discovery Action screen actors guild versus Lifetime Logo Mindy Kaling Tarantino miniseries Thanksgiving Sony Pictures finale Netflix Christmas movies TCA WarnerMedia Reality Competition Rocky Comedy X-Men cults Watching Series Brie Larson psychological thriller VICE MTV IFC Films CMT FOX Star Trek ESPN Peacock Classic Film police drama Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 24 frames composers Star Wars Hallmark Christmas movies Fantasy Marathons spinoff Super Bowl 45 video Podcast Endgame crossover Spring TV comiccon Trivia Spike aliens Mudbound doctor who festivals anime Photos Turner Classic Movies what to watch Sundance TV television History TCA Winter 2020 Teen Disney indie biography jamie lee curtis foreign diversity YouTube Premium spider-man Schedule PBS dc Cannes Women's History Month Pirates RT History Best and Worst Avengers medical drama rotten movies we love halloween supernatural DGA Interview period drama spy thriller based on movie Oscars Apple TV Plus Starz Box Office comic Tumblr APB Martial Arts NYCC nature crime thriller Shudder TCA 2017 2020 Kids & Family Marvel children's TV Dark Horse Comics Paramount A24 VH1 free movies Paramount Network Chilling Adventures of Sabrina GLAAD CNN animated ABC Family revenge TIFF name the review Turner 20th Century Fox Epix Infographic Ghostbusters toy story Heroines Lifetime Christmas movies theme song Esquire 2019 thriller cancelled TV series ABC Academy Awards Nickelodeon Polls and Games witnail Food Network YA Comic Book BBC America slashers Anna Paquin Holiday SDCC Binge Guide Trailer Character Guide YouTube Red justice league ratings series quibi blockbuster cooking elevated horror The CW CBS 2015 BET crime drama Crackle Vudu Bravo reboot dceu crime richard e. Grant Lucasfilm golden globes The Witch New York Comic Con psycho Rom-Com natural history breaking bad Superheroe cancelled television Chernobyl Set visit GoT Captain marvel romance werewolf GIFs adaptation 2018 true crime book Cartoon Network cinemax Mystery casting Trophy Talk space MSNBC 21st Century Fox zombies Family technology Pixar robots docudrama Adult Swim screenings See It Skip It Extras DC Universe DirecTV award winner disaster OneApp sag awards Black Mirror The Purge dramedy MCU binge Sundance PaleyFest batman Hulu Crunchyroll Premiere Dates zombie Fall TV IFC Drama Lionsgate Election teaser TNT Toys El Rey First Look talk show Creative Arts Emmys cops Baby Yoda Amazon Prime Video TV kids singing competition E3 Tomatazos political drama Opinion cats politics adventure LGBTQ Musicals Fox News movies 2016 sequel Disney Plus Music Ellie Kemper vampires mutant Netflix Masterpiece Television Academy Sci-Fi Pet Sematary streaming independent Rocketman tv talk mockumentary sports facebook cartoon Western Valentine's Day hispanic Freeform romantic comedy Pop Nat Geo Christmas green book zero dark thirty Marvel Studios anthology canceled Rock Mary Poppins Returns National Geographic FX TruTV RT21 BBC transformers FXX Video Games Apple DC Comics TBS serial killer Syfy sitcom Comedy Central Film Festival Shondaland boxoffice Mary poppins 71st Emmy Awards dragons Animation American Society of Cinematographers joker historical drama Writers Guild of America spain south america Nominations Pride Month Film TCM Tubi social media unscripted Apple TV+ Emmy Nominations Emmys HBO blaxploitation Columbia Pictures spanish language Biopics travel Britbox San Diego Comic-Con TV Land science fiction ITV The Arrangement First Reviews war Sneak Peek Horror Universal Cosplay Country Calendar Arrowverse strong female leads TLC USA Network cars Comics on TV Showtime Grammys SundanceTV Amazon WGN christmas movies Elton John Hallmark Quiz cancelled CBS All Access Disney+ Disney Plus 2017 CW Seed YouTube stand-up comedy Certified Fresh Acorn TV Song of Ice and Fire HBO Max USA A&E President OWN Reality Musical DC streaming service NBC Winter TV game of thrones comics AMC Stephen King Awards SXSW Spectrum Originals Year in Review Disney Channel latino Marvel Television game show Warner Bros. Summer Amazon Prime directors cancelled TV shows Walt Disney Pictures Mary Tyler Moore Sundance Now ghosts Disney streaming service The Walking Dead Ovation Discovery Channel LGBT E! Red Carpet Awards Tour Holidays 007 Superheroes