HBO has confirmed some additional cast and crew for the Game of Thrones prequel spin-off show that is due to start shooting imminently.
The series, provisionally entitled The Long Night, takes place thousands of years before the events of its predecessor and chronicles the descent of Westeros from the glory of the Age of Heroes into the terrors of the Long Night, when the White Walkers appeared for the first time and the Night's Watch was founded.
HBO previously confirmed that Naomi Watts and Josh Whitehouse would be starring in the show, whilst Jane Goldman will be working on the series as head writer and showrunner. To that they have added Naomi Ackie, Denise Gough, Jamie Campbell Bower, Sheila Atim, Ivanno Jeremiah, Georgie Henley, Alex Sharp and Tony Regbo.
Ackie is an up-and-coming actress who attracted attention for her role in Idris Elba's directorial debut, Yardie. She also has a role in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode IX. Tony Regbo has been a semi-regular on The Last Kingdom, playing Æthelred, Lord of Mercia in Seasons 2 and 3.
Jame Campbell Bower is an interesting addition. He played the role of Ser Waymar Royce in the original 2009 pilot for Game of Thrones, but was unable to reprise the role for the series proper, as he had been cast as King Arthur in Starz's short-lived Camelot series. The role was recast with Rob Ostlere playing the (short-lived, as he dies before the title credits begin) role.
HBO have also confirmed that British director S.J. Clarkson will be directing the pilot. She has shot episodes of series including The Defenders, Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black, Banshee, Dexter, Heroes and Life on Mars. She is also provisionally booked to shoot the fourth Star Trek movie to be produced by J.J. Abams, although the fate of that film remains unclear due to an ongoing cast payment dispute.
The pilot episode for the new series will shoot shortly, with HBO due to make a decision on the project in the summer or winter. If greenlit, production would resume with an air to the show launching in mid or late 2020.
Game of Thrones' eighth and final season will air in April 2019, consisting of six episodes, although each episode is expected to be significantly longer than normal.