The new book by James Andrew Miller, “Tinderbox: HBO’s Ruthless Pursuit of New Frontiers,” has been doling out interesting information about the channel’s properties, including how much the Age of Heroes pilot cost before being terminated. “They had spent over $30 million on a ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel pilot when I got there,” said WarnerMedia Chairman Bob Greenblatt in the book (via Entertainment Weekly). While $30 million may be an acceptable price for a smash hit, Greenblatt didn’t think that the success of the pilot was a sure thing.
“When I saw a cut of it in a few months after I arrived, I said to [HBO chief content officer] Casey [Bloys], ‘this just doesn’t work and I don’t think it delivers on the premise of the original series,'” elaborated Greenblatt. Instead, HBO greenlit a different prequel, “House of the Dragon.” This show was allowed to go directly to series in light of the failure of the original pilot, and Greenblatt seems confident that “House of the Dragon” will be more successful. “I’m the one who encouraged Casey to green-light it to series,” Greenblatt said.
Further elaborating on how HBO decided to move forward with “House of the Dragon,” Greenblatt told executives that “You can’t spend $30 million on a pilot and then not pick it up. So I said, ‘let’s not make a pilot. Let’s get a great series that we feel good about, and just make it. Or not.'” At the very least, viewers will get 10 episodes of new “Game of Thrones” content, with a particular focus on the Targaryen line, when “House of the Dragon” premieres in 2022.