Scriptnotes, a weekly podcast hosted by screenwriter John August had showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff on as guests with another screenwriter by the name of Craig Mazin. Mazin apparently advised them on the pilot that Benioff and Weiss originally showed HBO. Uproxx culled the relevant quotes, if you don’t want to listen to the whole podcast.
More after the jump!
John August, who is the screenwriter of “Go”, “Big Fish”, and several other Tim Burton projects discusses screenwriting every Tuesday on his podcast, Scriptnotes. Yesterday’s episode included Dan Weiss and David Benioff, Game of Thrones Executive Producers, and Craig Mazin, a friend of Weiss and Benioff and the screenwriter of “The Hangover” sequels and “Identity Thief”.
Mazin was asked to view the original pilot that took Benioff and Weiss four years to develop, write and shoot. And Mazin had some interesting things to say. According to Benioff,
As soon as it finished, Craig said, ‘You guys have a MASSIVE PROBLEM.’
Mazin couldn’t even give them tips on what to change. He basically said redo everything, so that’s what Benioff and Weiss did, reshooting 90-92% of it. They cut out the death of Jon Arryn, replaced the orginal actress playing Dany, and a ton of other changes.
Reinvited to see the premeire episode, Mazin said,
I sat there and this show unfolds and I am stunned. STUNNED,” Mazin said. “And I very specifically remember walking out and I said to [Weiss and Benioff], ‘That is the biggest rescue in Hollywood history.’ Because it wasn’t just that they had saved something bad and turned it really good. You had saved a complete piece of sh*t and turned it into something brilliant. That never happens!
There’s other tidbits in the Uproxx article and a short video to accompany it. All I have to say is thank goodness they pulled it off, right?