Miguel Sapochnik, co-showrunner, discusses the pressures of following up on the HBO phenomenon, as well as what will be distinctive in the prequel.
Miguel Sapochnik, co-showrunner of House of the Dragon, has broken his silence on his highly expected Game of Thrones prequel series.
The two-time Emmy winner answered a few questions about his highly awaited HBO fantasy drama, which is set about 200 years before the events of Game of Thrones, during a Hollywood Reporter interview about his forthcoming postapocalyptic Apple film Finch.
THR asked Sapochink how the new drama will set apart the previous series, which aired from 2011 to 2019 and was HBO’s most popular show and the most Emmy-winning primetime drama of all time.
Sapochnik said who also acts as showrunner with series co-creator Ryan Condal and directs many episodes of Dragon “I think we were very respectful of what the original show is”. “It wasn’t broken, so we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. House of the Dragon has its own tone that will evolve and emerge over the course of the show. But first, it’s very important to pay respects and homage to the original series, which was pretty groundbreaking. We’re standing on the shoulders of that show and we’re only here because of that show. So the most important thing for us to do is to respect that show as much as possible and try and complement it rather than reinvent it. And I was involved in making the original show, so I feel like that’s been useful. Like, I’m not arriving going, ‘Let’s change everything! Let’s do a different color palette!’ No, I quite like the color palette.
He added “That said, we can’t say, ‘Well, when we did Thrones, we did it this way …’”. “If you start every sentence with that, you’ve lost. This is something else, and should be something else. It’s a different crew, different people, different tone. Hopefully, it will be seen as something else. But it will have to earn that — it won’t happen overnight. Hopefully, fans will enjoy it for the thing that it is. We’ll be lucky if we ever come close to what the original show was, so we’re just putting our heads down and getting on with it and hoping what we come up with is worthy of having a Game of Thrones title.”
Sapochnik has directed a number of well-liked episodes of Game of Thrones, including “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter,” but this is his first time as showrunner. He stated that the job shift was so tough that it made directing appear less difficult.
“It’s a lot of work,” Sapochnik said. “It’s a pretty interesting shift. I’m producing other directors and getting involved in a lot of the minutiae. Directing feels really simple by comparison. I feel vaguely elated on my directing days because I don’t have to think about anything other than directing. I’ve also learned, as I learned on Finch, that it’s becoming more and more important to me as I’m getting older to work with people I like. The journey is the destination and if you can’t enjoy the journey, then the destination has so much less meaning. I’ve got a group of filmmakers on House of the Dragon I have a lot of fun working with. I’ve never had that level of repeat business of working with the same people again and again. The way I work with [GoT veterans] Fabian Wagner, my DP, and Tim Porter, my editor, we have fun and make jokes and we never used to have that. I can’t tell you how important that is. Because there’s not a lot of funny stuff going on in the world of Thrones, so it’s quite nice to spend time with people you enjoy spending time with.” Dragon will premiere on HBO in 2022. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks plays as potentially the last man on Earth, who embarks on a perilous cross-country trek with his beloved dog, Goodyear, and freshly developed robot, Jeff, in Sapochnik’s most significant big-screen effort to date, Finch. For more on developing Finch and how the epidemic impacted the path of its post-apocalyptic plot, read Sapochnik’s entire interview.