The Internets are abuzz tonight with Variety’s news that George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire has just been acquired by HBO for an ongoing series to be written and executive produced by David Bennioff and D.B. Weiss.
According to Variety, the series will begin with the 1996 first book, A Game of Thrones. Each 1000-page novel will constitute a season's worth of episodes, with the fifth novel currently near completion. The seven-book cycle won't be completed until 2011.
For fans of fat fantasy and George R.R. Martin, this is epic news indeed. The books, long time favorites of mine, are epic in scope as well as girth. Rife with political intrigue, brutal fighting, and splintering plot arcs, this could very well be yet another HBO blockbuster in the making. Fans of the books dreaming for years of a feature film adaptation may find themselves slightly disappointed in this news.
For myself, an ongoing HBO series is the perfect home for a story of this magnitude to be told. With a stellar track record of heavy drama including The Sopranos, Deadwood, Rome, Carnivale, as well as others, I have full faith that HBO can give us the goods in the gory and brutal detail it deserves. With a series of this size as well as Martin’s penchant for various points of view and jumping all over place with his plot lines, I can’t help but feel a feature film adaption would only dampen the scope as well as excising many of the smaller yet still intriguing plot points. An ongoing TV series feels the perfect home allowing the makers to explore every bit of the minutiae to it’s fullest extent.
For those of you worried about someone other than Martin in charge of writing duties, Devin Faraci expands some on writer Bennioff and his previous works, saying, "If you only know Benioff from Troy, you’re missing out – his novel 25th Hour, which he adapted for Spike Lee, is brilliant, and his short story collection, When the Nines Roll Over, is terrific as well. But he’s been mostly focusing on Hollywood work, including an adaptation of Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls."