The prequel was set to take place roughly 5,000 years before the events of the HBO series
According to Entertainment Weekly, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter, the network has scrapped plans for a prequel from showrunner Jane Goldman, of which a full pilot episode was shot in Northern Ireland earlier this year.
THR reports that Goldman e-mailed the cast to share the news.
HBO confirmed the news in a statement Friday: “After careful consideration, we have decided not to move forward to series with the Untitled Game of Thrones prequel. We thank Jane Goldman, S.J. Clarkson, and the talented cast and crew for all of their hard work and dedication.”
In addition to Watts, the project had cast Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth) and Denise Gough (Broadway’s Angels in America).
George R.R. Martin, who wrote the Song of Ice and Fire book series from which Game of Thrones was adapted, was co-creating the series with Goldman (X-Men: First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass), who was also set to serve as showrunner. (David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners of the original series, were never involved.)
Still officially untitled, the prequel was set to take place roughly 5,000 years before the events of the HBO series. Martin had previously confirmed that the fan-favorite Stark family, who were descendants of the First Men, would be featured, but not the Lannisters, as the prequel would predate their rise.
During the HBO TCA press tour in July, president of HBO Programming Casey Bloys said that despite some fans’ negative reactions to GoT‘s final season, production on the prequel series would not be affected by the backlash.
“The shooting has wrapped, it looks really good, the cast was amazing,” Bloys said of the prequel’s pilot.
The exec added that the pilot was currently in the edit bay, and while he had not seen the finished cut, he said the network was “looking forward” to seeing what comes of it.
According to EW, a second GoT prequel project focusing on the Targaryen Civil War, however, is still in the works, though the project hasn’t officially received a pilot order yet.