GRRM Gets All the Space He Needs

I remember being at a convention when fans passed around the good news that George R.R. Martin’s proposed tv series pilot had been approved. But “Doorways” met an unfortunate end. Will television treat George R.R. Martin better this time?

That’s the question on the table in Maureen Ryan’s lengthy and fascinating interview of George R.R. Martin for the April 29 Chicago Tribune.

Once Martin’s novels began climbing the bestseller charts, Hollywood film studios “came sniffing around,” he said.

“We got a number of inquiries and basically, I told my agents, no,” Martin said. “Because I didn’t see how they could possibly be done as a feature film.”

To do justice to the book series, film studios would have to commit to multiple films, “and that wasn’t going to happen,” he said. Most television networks were also not an option.

“I knew that the limitations of budgets and the censorship limitations. I know it’s loosened up some since I was active in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, but I can still remember the fights with Standards and Practices and censors about the sex and violence. And the books are full of sex and violence. I didn’t want some watered-down, bowdlerized version of this,” Martin said.

But when Benioff, Weiss and HBO approached him about a television series — and the current plan calls for each season to tell the story of one “Ice and Fire” book — he was interested.

Of course, as an L.A. Times blogger aptly points out, if TV had treated Martin better in the beginning we wouldn’t have these books:

If it hadn’t been for a bruising decade in the TV business, George R.R. Martin might never have started writing the epic fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire,” and HBO wouldn’t have a buzzy project in the pipeline that’s being referred to as “The Sopranos in Middle-earth.”

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