SJ Clarkson, who directed the pilot for Marvel and Netflix’s Jessica Jones as well as two episodes of The Defenders, will direct the as-yet-untitled Game of Thrones prequel series from Jane Goldman and George R.R. Martin. Taking place thousands of years before HBO’s epic fantasy television series, the prequel will chronicle Westeros’ descent from the Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. Clarkson will direct the pilot, which will star Naomi Watts as “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret,” as well as bevy of other characters announced today. Among the new cast members are a familiar face from The Chronicles of Narnia; a new face from Star Wars: Episode IX; and more.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX, Lady Macbeth) and Denise Gough (Angels in America, Colette) will play the next two largest roles after Watts, though HBO has not yet provided any other character details. The rest of the cast includes Jamie Campbell Bower (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Sweeney Todd), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Black Mirror, Humans), Georgie Henley (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), and Toby Regbo (Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, The Last Kingdom). Yes, Young Dumbledore and Young Grindelwald will both be in this series.
Clarkson was previously attached to direct Star Trek 4, the first female film director to do so. However, Deadline reports that the project has since been shelved, which seems to be what freed Clarkson up to take the Game of Thrones job.
The official series logline from HBO:
Taking place thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones, the series chronicles the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. And only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’s history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East, to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.
The pilot is expected to go into production in early 2019. EW says that if the series is greenlit, the earliest it would arrive on HBO would be 2020. In the meantime, Game of Thrones will return for its eighth and final season in April 2019.