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HBO Has Canceled The 'Game Of Thrones' Prequel Starring Naomi Watts

HBO has decided to put a stake through the untitled Game of Thrones prequel starring Naomi Watts. Jane Goldman's pilot, which was filmed over the summer, will not become a series.

The prequel, which reportedly centered on the Age of Heroes, chronicling the first battle between man and White Walker, was canceled shortly before HBO was expected to approve a second pilot based the Game of Thrones universe. The second series will reportedly focus on the reign of Targaryen kings before the events of Game of Thrones, thereby creating a clearer connection between the two series.

In May, after the series wrapped, HBO programming chief Casey Bloys told The Hollywood Reporter, "We're shooting the pilot in June, you can do the math and figure out when it would be on the air. What I'm not doing is working backward by saying, This has to be on the air by this date.' We want to do the best show possible. This is a pilot, so we're doing it the old-fashioned way, which is shooting a pilot. My expectation is it will be great and we'll move forward and it'll move along on a regular TV timetable. I don't want to speculate on any dates."

The prequel cast, which included Watts, Miranda Richardson, Joshua Whitehouse and Marquis Rodrigez, would have inhabited the Age of Heroes, thousands of years before the events of Game of Thrones. During this time in Westeros history, the Seven Kingdoms weren't even a consideration since the continent was divided into countless kingdoms and governed by heroes like Bran the Builder, who built the Wall, and Lann the Clever, who founded House Lannister.

HBO's logline said, "Only one thing is for sure: 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 — it's not the story we think we know."

This isn’t the first time HBO has tinkered with the Game of Thrones franchise. The original pilot for the long-running series was initially reshot, recast and redeveloped. Sources say HBO wasn't happy with the final edit of the prequel pilot and requested changes before pulling finally the plug.

This doesn’t mean that the network has given up on the Game of Thrones universe. HBO is clearly invested in exploring its properties in further detail. A Deadwood movie, which gave the original series a proper ending has already aired, and an upcoming Sopranos film is on the way. In addition, Game of Thrones is a cash-cow and the network certainly won’t give up on it.

In the meantime, while we wait for a continuation of the Game of Thrones series, HBO promises to keep developing top-notch programming to compete with competitors like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and the forthcoming Apple streaming service. The Game of Thrones library will also be vital for WarnerMedia's own streaming platform, HBO Max, which will launch next April.

RELATED: 20 Secrets Behind The Scenes Of Game Of Thrones (Even The Biggest Fans Don't Know)

The prequel cancelation coincides with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss dropping out of a planned trilogy of Star Wars films. The partners, who will be credited as executive producers on future Game of Thrones properties, left HBO for a five-year, $250 million film and TV contract with Netflix.

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