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8 items from 2016


‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Recall ‘Painful Experience’ of Completely Overhauling Show’s Pilot

5 February 2016 12:46 PM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss  called the original pilot for their hit HBO series “one of the most painful experiences” of their lives. “It took us almost four years to get the pilot made,” said Benioff on the “Scriptnotes” podcast. “And we finished it. We’d been overseas for about seven months.” Then they showed the pilot to fellow screenwriters Craig Mazin, Ted Griffin, and Scott Frank. “Watching them watch that original pilot was one of the most painful experiences of my life,” he said. “I mean, it’s probably like appendicitis and that. And Craig, »

- Beatrice Verhoeven

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The Original 'Game of Thrones' Pilot Was a 'Painful' 'Piece of S--t'

5 February 2016 8:40 AM, PST | Moviefone | See recent Moviefone news »

The original "Game of Thrones" pilot has become the stuff of television legend, since it featured significantly different plots, and several different main actors, from the final product that audiences saw on HBO back in 2011, and was widely considered pretty terrible. Now, the showrunners have recently discussed just how bad their first crack at adapting George R.R. Martin's books really was, and it turns out that that first pilot was "a complete piece of s--t."

That assessment came courtesy of screenwriter Craig Mazin (the "Hangover" sequels, "Identity Thief"), who together with fellow writer John August ("Big Fish") runs the podcast Scriptnotes. The pair hosted "Thrones" showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff on a recent episode for a frank discussion about the fantasy drama's pilot, which Mazin saw at a screening for friends organized by Weiss and Benioff back in 2010.

It didn't go well.

"Watching them watch that original pilot »

- Katie Roberts

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Original 'Game of Thrones' Pilot Was a Disaster Says Show Creators

4 February 2016 1:36 PM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Game of Thrones is arguably the biggest TV show with an incredibly massive fanbase that is currently eagerly awaiting Season 6, which is set to debut Sunday, April 24. While we wait for any footage to arrive from the new season, some intriguing details have been revealed from series creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The writers/producers recently appeared on the ScriptNotes podcast, where they teased the now-legendary original pilot, which fans never saw, and may have brought the TV series to an end before it even started.

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss originally enlisted Thomas McCarthy (Spotlight) to direct the pilot, although that version of the first episode was never seen by the fans. Before the showrunners eventually hired Timothy Van Patten to direct the pilot that everyone saw, they showed the original episode to a group of their writer friends, one of which was ScriptNotes co-host Craig Mazin, »

- MovieWeb

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'Game of Thrones' creators admit the show was almost a disaster

4 February 2016 1:33 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Before Game of Thrones was a pop culture phenomenon, it was just another genre show struggling to get made. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss spent almost four years getting the pilot episode off the ground, including seven months spent filming overseas. So when the final product came back, it should have been meticulous. Instead, it nearly sunk the show before it even began. Over 90% of the pilot episode had to be reshot, with several characters recast — as was the case with Michelle Fairley taking over from Jennifer Ehle as Catelyn Stark — or cut entirely. The unaired original pilot has become almost mythical, with fans wishing it’d be released just to see if it lives up to the infamy. Benioff and Weiss haven’t been shy when it comes sharing how wrong it all went, even admitting their friends didn’t pick up on the fact Cersei and Jaime were brother and sister, »

- Donna Dickens

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The Reason We’ll Probably Never See the Original Game of Thrones Pilot Is Because It Was Apparently a Huge Piece of Crap

4 February 2016 1:15 PM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

Six years after its completion, the original, unaired Game of Thrones pilot — directed by Spotlight's Tom McCarthy, and featuring different actors for Daenerys Targaryen and Catelyn Stark — remains a source of fascination for fans, for the simple reason that almost no one outside the production has ever seen it. Now, while appearing on the podcast Scriptnotes, Got showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have finally revealed why: It was terrible. The pair recalled hosting a screening of the pilot, where Scriptnotes co-host Craig Mazin was in attendance. "I was taking notes, and I had this yellow legal pad, and I just remembered writing in all caps, ‘Massive problem,'" recalled Benioff. Weiss confirmed, calling the screening "one of the most painful experiences of my life." Mazin was at a loss for constructive criticism, telling the pair simply: "Change everything." So they did! They re-shot almost the entire episode (though »

- Nate Jones

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Ganging Up on Ted Cruz: His College Roommate, Bob Dole and Mia Farrow Pile On

21 January 2016 10:00 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

A random college roommate is always a gamble and if you ask Ted Cruz's - Hollywood screenwriter Craig Mazin - he lost big time. As Mia Farrow pointed out, Mazin's distaste for the Gop candidate runs so deep that the screenwriter can't stop tweeting about it. Ted Cruz roommate still can't stand him https://t.co/RH3fpYAMt5— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) January 19, 2016 Here are some recent examples: Getting emails blaming me for not smothering Ted Cruz in his sleep in 1988. What kind of monster do you think I am? A really prescient one?— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) January 15, 2016 When I met »

- Tierney McAfee, @tierneymcafee

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Ganging Up on Ted Cruz: His College Roommate, Bob Dole and Mia Farrow Pile On

21 January 2016 10:00 AM, PST | PEOPLE.com | See recent PEOPLE.com news »

A random college roommate is always a gamble and if you ask Ted Cruz's - Hollywood screenwriter Craig Mazin - he lost big time. As Mia Farrow pointed out, Mazin's distaste for the Gop candidate runs so deep that the screenwriter can't stop tweeting about it. Ted Cruz roommate still can't stand him https://t.co/RH3fpYAMt5— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) January 19, 2016 Here are some recent examples: Getting emails blaming me for not smothering Ted Cruz in his sleep in 1988. What kind of monster do you think I am? A really prescient one?— Craig Mazin (@clmazin) January 15, 2016 When I met »

- Tierney McAfee, @tierneymcafee

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‘Big Fish’ Writer John August Honored by Writers Guild

7 January 2016 11:22 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Screenwriter John August (“Big Fish,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) has been named the recipient of the Writers Guild of America West’s Valentine Davies Award.

The honor has been given in recognition of his humanitarian efforts, civic service and his role in fostering a community of writers. August will be honored at the Writers Guild Awards West Coast ceremony on Feb. 13 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

“John is the writer we’d all want to be: wildly intelligent, deeply practical, effortlessly inventive, and generous to a fault,” said WGA West President Howard A. Rodman.

“Whether he’s creating apps, campaigning for marriage equality, mentoring younger writers, podcasting with Craig Mazin, sitting on our Negotiating Committee, or constructing a school in Malawi, John has made service to the larger community a part of his second nature. Protip: when you find yourself in difficult straits, ask yourself ‘What would John August do? »

- Dave McNary

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8 items from 2016


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