With the final season of Game of Thrones approaching (rather slowly) you would be forgiven for forgetting there’s a related project on its infancy just as the original reaches its end: Jane Goldman‘s spin-off, reportedly set during the legendary Long Night. When we learned that the prequel would see its greenlit pilot shot on February 2019, we predicted “we should have casting and production news soon enough.” That may be coming true after all, though nothing is certain, given HBO’s characteristic secrecy…
Watchers on the Wall regular Gravemaster just got in touch with us about HBO casting calls recently posted on British and Norwegian casting agency websites. Some of the roles seem to match, which would mean they’re part of the same project. The version on the National Youth Theatre site offers the most information about four characters, all of whom are series regulars: a black woman, age 24-32, codenamed “S”; a mixed race man, age 17-22, “A”; a white woman, age 17-25, “I”; and finally a black woman, age 16-23, “F”. The Norwegian site shows additional roles, but with no meaningful public information.
Normally, such an unnamed show wouldn’t get our attention, but it’s specified that this “confidential untitled HBO project” will begin shooting in February 2019, just like the pilot for the prequel Jane Goldman is showrunning. That alone doesn’t seal the deal, of course. At first glance there is something else against it, too: the fact that Nina Gold, who handled the casting for the show ever since the original pilot, is not involved at all. And yet, Lucinda Syson, the casting director behind this secretive HBO project, did casting direct a few of Jane Goldman’s most prominent projects as a screenwriter, Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. They have a prior working relationship, and perhaps Gold is happy to leave this fictional world behind after nearly a decade of hard work.
As of yet, we have been unable to confirm a link between this casting call and Goldman’s pilot, but the possibility remains. Certainly, there is enough wiggle room for some lively speculation! If the new show is set during the Long Night, as reported, the diversity Syson is looking for is certainly a pleasant surprise, as some may not have expected to see many people of color around. Needless to say, the Long Night is said to have affected the whole world, not just those areas populated by the First Men; and, even if the show only focuses on Westeros, migration is not a new phenomenon, regardless of what your uncle may rant about on Facebook. If this casting call turns out to be about Goldman’s spin-off after all, I hope we can all welcome the diversity on evidence here.