With the final season of Game of Thrones just a few more months away from airing, rumors have already begun to swirl that filming for one of several planned prequels could begin as soon as next month. It’s the prequel that still doesn’t have an official title but which has been informally referred to by none other than author George R.R. Martin himself as The Long Night, and it will apparently be the next installment of the franchise that takes up the mantle of fan interest and carries it forward after the eighth and final season of GoT comes to a close.
Even though an official premiere date for the prequel hasn’t been disclosed yet, fans can at least whet their appetite for what’s to come based on the fact that the full core cast of the new series is now in place.
Winter is coming, and so are these actors and actresses to the imminent prequel. We’ve got Naomi Watts in the lead role, with Martin confirming she’ll play a “charismatic socialite” with a dark secret. Per Esquire, here’s who else we can look forward to: “Now HBO have confirmed who she will star alongside, and the cast includes Naomi Ackie (Star Wars: Episode IX), Denise Gough (Angels in America), Jamie Campbell Bower (The Twilight Saga), Sheila Atim (Harlots), Ivanno Jeremiah (Humans), Georgie Henley (The Chronicles of Narnia), Alex Sharp (How to Talk to Girls at Parties), and Toby Regbo (Reign).”
Beyond the cast, S.J. Clarkson, who’s worked on episodes of Jessica Jones, has been teed up to direct the pilot. Additionally, Jane Goldman will pen the series script. In terms of her credits, she’s co-written the scripts for such films as Kingsman: the Secret Service and X-Men: Days of Future Past.
It’s been reported that HBO has been looking at the possibility of multiple GoT prequels, but this one — which Martin at one point said he’d prefer to be titled The Long Night — appears to be the one that’s farthest along. It, and the others, will be set thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones and, according to HBO, will chronicle “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour. From the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the White Walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend, only one thing is for sure: It’s not the story we think we know.”