'Game of Thrones' Prequel: HBO Announces Director and Full Cast

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“Game of Thrones" prequel pilot is in good hands.

With pre-production nearing the final stages on George R.R. Martin and Jane Goldman’s untitled “Game of Thrones” prequel series, HBO announced earlier today that accomplished director SJ Clarkson will helm the pilot episode.

Clarkson’s resume is impressive, having directed episodes of HBO’s Vinyl, Netflix’s Orange is the New Black, AMCs Bates Motel, Showtime’s Dexter, and the pilot episodes of Marvel’s Jessica Jones and The Defenders.

Additionally, HBO unveiled the supporting cast anchored by two-time Oscar nominated actor, Naomi Watts who is set to play a “charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.”

The latest cast additions include: Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Denise Gough (Monday), Jamie Campbell Bower (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia films), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties) and Toby Regbo (The Last Kingdom, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald).

Given the enormity of Game of Thrones’ platform, it should come as no surprise to see a few of these actors eventually become household names should this pilot receive a full series order.

Production on the pilot episode was originally slated for October 2018 at The Paint Hall in Belfast’s Titanic Quarters. Incidentally that happens to be the same production location for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’ 2019 Star Wars spin-off. While there are still a few hurdles to overcome, it appears production will now take place early 2019 with a premiere likely in 2020.

Next up: title this dang thing! (The Long Night?)

Greg Harmon | Managing Editor and Cultjer Contributor | Follow me @sweetharmony for Film & TV discussion