The author was reacting to the news that Naomi Watts had been cast in the forthcoming HBO series when he revealed it'll be called The Long Night.
“Casting is now underway for THE LONG NIGHT, the first of the GAME OF THRONES successor series to ordered to film,” he tweeted, adding on his blog: “I could not be more excited. Welcome to Westeros, Naomi."
The new project will detail how the world fell into darkness from the prosperous Age of Heroes. Watts will play the role of “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret” in the new series's pilot, which is set to begin shooting next year. Further details of her character's backstory are yet to be revealed.
Screenwriter Jane Goldman, who co-wrote Kick-Ass with Matthew Vaughn, is behind the prequel, which takes place thousands of years before the events told in Game of Thrones. She'll work closely with Martin whose best-selling novels, published as part of the series A Song of Ice and Fire, were adapted into the most successful TV show in HBO history.
This won't be Watts's first TV appearance. She was recently cast as Gretchen Carlson in Showtime's limited series about the late Fox News CEO and disgraced television executive, Roger Ailes. Her film roles include The Ring, Mulholland Drive and King Kong.
HBO currently has five HBO-related projects in the works with Martin confirming others are currently in “active development.”
Game of Thrones, which aired for the first time in 2011, will conclude with its eighth season in 2019.
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