Game of Thrones season 3 returns on March 31. The Academy of Television hosted an evening to celebrate the actors/actresses as well as the creative team because it was a huge success.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss, along with author George R.R. Martin, talked about how this book series transitioned to a TV show at HBO. They had to re-shoot 90% of the pilot because they had to make sure that Martin gets his cameo. The process for changing what is in the books and the number of new people sitting on the Iron Throne before the series is done is what makes the experience fun and exciting.
Question: George, what was it about David Benioff and Dan Weiss that made you feel like you could trust them with your baby?
GEORGE R.R. MARTIN:
Well, I had written three books, at that point, and each one of them was better than the other. At a certain point, as the books were doing well, I started getting interest from Hollywood, from various producers and studios who were initially interested in doing a feature film. I met with some of those people and I had phone conversations with some of those people, but I didn’t see it being done as a feature film. But, it did get me thinking about how it could possibly be done, and I decided the only way it could be done was with someone like HBO, as a television series, with each book being a season. I didn’t have time to do it, but I did tell the idea to my agent. I was out in Hollywood on something, and he told me he had set up a meeting with Benioff and Weiss, so I met them at the Palm restaurant. I knew a little about their credits beforehand. They’re both novelists who have written their own books. So, we had this lunch at the Palm that was pretty epic. We got there for lunch and started talking, and we continued to talk. They had the some notion not to do it as a feature film, but to do it as a television production. We talked right through lunch. Everybody from lunch left. We were alone in the restaurant. They started resetting all the tables for dinner, and then the dinner crowd started to come in, and we were still talking. I did ask them a few pointed question to determine whether they had actually read the books, and they gave me the right answers. So, we shook hands and they took the ball and ran with it. The next thing I knew, we were in business with HBO.