‘Game Of Throne’ Talented Showrunner David Benioff Says Some GRRM’s Book Fans Hated Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s Imperfect Nose, Highlight Hollywood News
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss appeared at a Cannes Lions panel discussion on “The Power of Story” with Veep creator Armando Iannucci and New York Magazine’s Frank Rich.
When asked about how they managed the cult following the series had before they started the adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novels “A Song of Ice and Fire,” Benioff said, “At first we would look at the fan sites … and then we quickly learned it was a double-edged sword because you can fall into this rabbit hole of ‘Game of Thrones’ obsession and never get out of it.
“The moment I realized we had to stop looking at the stuff was when we started casting and every single person we cast, people would complain about.
“When Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) was cast, people complained she was a brunette, people actually complained when we cast Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister) because his nose isn’t perfect, and people complained when we cast Emilia Clarke as Daenerys because the character in the book is like 13 and she’s 23 or 24. I started tearing my hair out, and we realized if we were to keep our sanity, we’d have to stop looking at everything.”
Weiss added, “It is difficult because it is so gratifying that this many people, that anyone, responds to what you are doing, and there’s a desire to want to engage with them, but at a certain point it can become an addictive experience … so I regretfully disengaged.”
They also said “Game of Thrones” would never have worked as a movie franchise. Benioff said, “When George R.R. Martin’s agent sent us the books, it was for adaptation into movies.
“We fell in love with the books … they are crack on paper. But it didn’t make sense for us to do them movies because they are so dense, there are so many characters and subplots.
“We’ve adapted books for movies before and it involves extensive mutilation, you are cutting away 90 percent of what’s there to give yourself a two-hour movie.
“But what did make sense was an HBO series, it was going to be dense storytelling, it was going to be sexy and violent, there was no way to make this a PG13 movie at Fox or something. Luckily, George agreed.”
“Game of Thrones” season 5 begins filming in Belfast, Ireland in early July.
Winter is Coming!