Back in 2019, HBO was working to put together a post-Game Of Thrones lineup as the monumental series came to its (widely panned) conclusion. As it turns out, HBO had not one but fifteen different prequel concepts from various writers for GOT-inspired shows, all inspired by George R. R. Martin’s works. Of that bunch, five were selected, and one eventually moved forward: Bloodmoon.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bloodmoon went into production about a year before Thrones was slated to end, and HBO had high hopes. Francesca Orsi, HBO’s executive VP of drama, recalls the plot being a unique take on the familiar GoT world fans love. “Bloodmoon really stood out as different, with unique world-building. Tonally it felt very adult, sophisticated, and intelligent, and there was a thematic conversation at the center of it about disenfranchisement in the face of colonialism and religious extremism.”
The execs were hopeful, and the show even went on to shoot a pilot on an estimated $30 million to $35 million (!) budget. HBO even snagged Naomi Watts, who was fresh off her stint in Twin Peaks: The Return, as the leading lady of the series (reportedly a socialite with a “hidden secret”). Also among the cast was Jamie Campbell Bower, who instead went on to star as a lead villain in Stranger Things, so it worked out for him in the end!
Despite the show moving ahead, Martin was worried about where the production was going, despite never seeing the pilot. “Bloodmoon was a very difficult assignment,” Martin explained. “We’re dealing with a much more primitive people. There were no dragons yet. A lot of the pilot revolved around a wedding of a Southern house to a Northern house and it got into the whole history of the White Walkers.” Because of this, HBO quietly scrapped the idea, and the pilot is probably sitting in the basement of a warehouse, abandoned alongside Days Of Abandonment, the short-lived Natalie Portman project.
Of course, the show couldn’t have been that bad, right? Robert Greenblatt, who was then chairman of WarnerMedia, said that it looked good, but there wasn’t a future for it. “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.”
(Via The Hollywood Reporter)