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SYFY WIRE House of the Dragon

WIRE Buzz: Casting for Game of Thrones prequel underway; mysterious Walking Dead voice boards S11; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Game of Thrones Press Site pic Daenerys Dragon

HBO’s in-the-works spinoff prequel to Game of Thrones is beginning to assemble its acting army. House of the Dragon, the upcoming series based on George R.R. Martin’s lore and set 300 years before the events of the dearly-departed HBO hit, has reportedly begun the casting process.

Citing unnamed sources, Entertainment Weekly reports that casting on House of the Dragon has started, but offers no early word on whom the creative team is eyeing for the series’ lead roles. In fact, it’s not yet known which characters from Martin’s Fire & Blood source novel would even be making the crossover to television.

Released in 2018 as a prequel to the first book in Martin’s main A Song of Ice and Fire series, Fire & Blood charts the history of House Targaryen back when Daenerys was still hundreds of years from taunting destiny as the Mother of Dragons and would-be conqueror of King’s Landing. The novel is being adapted for HBO with GoT veteran Miguel Sapochnik set to direct the first episode, according to EW. Sapochnik and Ryan Condal (Colony) will serve as co-showrunners.

HBO president of programming Casey Bloys said earlier this year that Martin and Condal had already begun writing the series. Bloys also teased the series premiere of the first 10-episode season should arrive at HBO sometime in 2022.

A familiar voice to fans of The Walking Dead is about to step out of the shadows and onto the screen — though AMC hasn’t yet said whether it’ll be as the character we’ve so far only heard on the radio (though that seems a safe bet.)

Deadline reports that Margot Bingham, who’s given voice to a mysterious West Virginia radio contact in two recent TWD episodes, has joined the show’s cast as a series regular for the upcoming zombie saga’s 11th season. So far, Bingham (Boardwalk Empire, She’s Gotta Have It) has been heard but not seen as the voice of Stephanie, who showed up in the 6th episode of Season 10 making radio contact from a previously-unknown group beyond the Commonwealth. She remotely befriends an at-first incredulous Eugene (Josh McDermott), who, at least in the comics, goes on to kindle a real-life romance with her.

Margot Bingham

A zombie survivor from Charleston, West Virginia, Stephanie lurks in Eugene’s imagination as a potential first contact for the Hilltop group to forge new bonds with an outside group of survivors who can lend strength in numbers. After some intrigue when Rosita discovers he and Stephanie have been talking long-distance, Rosita (Christian Serratos) encourages Eugene to go and find her in the season’s 11th episode, leaving things hanging as fans await the coronavirus-delayed Season 10 finale.

AMC hasn’t revealed a premiere date for Season 11 of The Walking Dead, but the Season 10 finale is set to air later this year. Watch for AMC to potentially unveil the special episode’s air date later this week during this year’s online-only San Diego Comic-Con.

Ed and Lorraine Warren have become the latest to feel the effects of the ongoing rash of coronavirus-related studio postponements. Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema reportedly have pushed the next main entry in The Conjuring movie franchise back from its originally-planned release this September, all the way until June of next year.

Variety reports that the studio has shifted the planned release date for The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (the third mainline Conjuring movie) from Sept. 11 of this year until June 4 of 2021, thanks to a scuttled set of reshoots originally planned for April. Like other productions suspended by the pandemic, The Devil Made Me Do It reportedly wasn’t able to get those final shoots finished in time for the film to make it into theaters later this summer.

The Conjuring delay comes on the heels of news earlier today that Warner Bros. had also had decided to pull Christopher Nolan’s hugely anticipated Tenet, not only from its planned Aug. 12 release, but from the release calendar altogether, with no new date in its place. When it does arrive in theaters, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It  — starring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, and directed by Michael Chaves — will explore the Warrens’ investigation of a case inspired by real-world events: that of Cheyenne Johnson, a Connecticut 19-year-old who in the 1980s invoked demonic possession in his defense, after facing trial for murder.