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Development: Game of Thrones prequel gets start date; rare Pokemon card goes to auction; Batman search underway

By Brian Silliman
The Mad King from Game of Thrones

The wheel is starting to churn a bit faster on HBO's Game of Thrones spin-off, which is an as-yet-untitled prequel series. We might not know what the show will be called yet, but we do know when it will begin production.

According to Entertainment Weekly, HBO programming president Casey Bloys said that the series will begin production in early summer. It looks like the prequel show will start shooting right as the final season of the flagship show finishes airing.

S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones) is set to direct a cast that will include Naomi Watts (King Kong, Mulholland Drive), Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), and Denise Gough (Yennefer in the Witcher video game series, Harper in Angels in America on Broadway). The concept of the show was created by showrunner Jane Goldman and author George R.R. Martin.

Bloys had previously said that the prequel wouldn't hit our screens for at least a year after the main show's final season — if the pilot shooting this summer is greenlit, then that means it could air in 2020 or 2021. The production's location is not known at present, though many are assuming that Thrones' established strongholds in Northern Ireland will be used. The official description describes the show as happening "thousands of years" before Thrones, involving "the world's descent from the Golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour."

If any characters from Game of Thrones run into some cash-flow problems, then the Iron Bank of Braavos may not be their only option. They could always turn to another lucrative income source: Pokémon cards.

Certain cards are considered so rare that they can net the seller around $20,000. A complete unopened box is another matter entirely, and Comic Book Resources is reporting that one such box is expect to go for (potentially) $65,000 at auction.

Hosted by Hyggins & Scott, the auction follows a former listing from 2018 for "a 1999 Pokémon 1st Edition Limited Printing (English) Base Set Unopened Booster Box." That item went for $66,920 last August, and is almost identical to this new listing. Because of this, they are expecting the same dollar amount (or more) for this listing, which is detailed in the following way: "This tightly sealed and virtually untouched container has been in the possession of our consignor since release decades ago. A box break will yield (36) 11-card packs. Additionally, each pack will deliver: (5) common, (3) uncommon, (2) Energy and (1) Rare or Foil card."

The breakdown adds, "Based on production, the odds of pulling a foil card are nearly 1:3 packs. With 396 chances for Gem Mint 10 holos and other high-grade treasures, 'the sky’s the limit' for this cornerstone!" The sky may end up being much higher than $66,920.

Bidding began on Feb. 1, and will close at 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 13. If Cersei Lannister wants to catch 'em all, then she'd better get on it.

Who could potentially stop the Lannisters from getting their hands on those expensive cards? There's only one person we can think of: Batman. He's not about to let the rains of Castamere weep over the Batcave, that's for darn sure. 

The snag here, however, is which Batman would be involved? Matt Reeves is currently looking for an actor to replace Ben Affleck in the role for The Batman, and word is that the studio is looking for "a familiar face."

In a recent tweet, Variety's Justin Kroll wrote: "The Batman: this sounds like it could move faster than people would expect with the date set. Hearing studio wants a familiar face and Reeves has his certain age in mind and that age is very specific like I said two names within 7 years of each other; 'Too young, too Old.'

All of this is pure speculation at the moment, so keep that rumor-repelling bat-salt handy. Still, if they want a familiar face, both Kit Harington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jon Snow and Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones, respectively) might have some free time. They could also throw a big bone to Gotham fans and go with David Mazouz.

Any of these choices are probably less expensive than the most impressive casting move of them all— putting the cape and cowl on an unopened box of Pokémon cards. That may sound silly, but we'd watch it.