HBO is going to spend tens of millions on its planned spin-offs to Game of Thrones, a show that made headlines in September when Variety revealed each of the six episodes of the final season would cost $15 million.
At the INTV Conference in Israel on Tuesday, HBO Senior VP of Drama, Francesca Orsi, says HBO won’t be holding back.
“$50 million (per season) would never fly for what we are trying to do,” Orsi said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We are going big.”
Orsi said HBO is planning “three, four, five spin-offs” of Game of Thrones. Back in May, HBO announced they hired four writers to each develop a Game of Thrones spin-off. However, one of the show’s executive producers and the author of the show’s source material, George R.R. Martin, said they upped the count to five in a blog post published that same month.
“How many pilots will be filmed, and how many series might come out of that, remains to be seen,” Martin wrote at the time.
Each of the 10 hour-long episodes of Game of Thrones season one cost about $6 million compared to about $7 million for each episode of season two. By season six, the budget was $10 million per hour of blood and incest, according to Winter Is Coming.
“There is a conundrum [with the budget] if we do take off on one of these Game of Thrones spin-offs, where do we start?,” Orsi said at the INTV Conference on Tuesday, according to Deadline. “We can’t obviously start with the budget of season eight but would it be a Game of Thrones season three budget?”
The spin-offs aren’t expected to drop until “at least a year” after the final season airs, according to HBO chief Casey Bloys in July via a report from THR. That’s where Bloys also said that the show’s final batch of episodes would probably be longer than the usual hour. See, the $15 million is justified after all.
And that initial Variety report from September didn’t just throw Game of Thrones in the spotlight. It apparently costs $10 million per hour of HBO’s Westworld and Amazon’s The Tick and about $8 million for each episode of Amazon’s Jack Ryan, Starz’s American Gods, TNT’s miniseries Will and season two of Netflix’s Stranger Things. Meanwhile, $7 million will get you an episode of Netflix’s The Crown and $6 million will cost you one episode of Stranger Things season one or an episode of FX’s American Crime Story. Is this why the DVD boxsets cost so much money?
Correction: Producers of The Crown said that each episode from the show’s two seasons costs about £5 million ($7 million) during the INTV Conference on Tuesday, according to Variety, which differs from the $10 million that Variety reported in September and was originally reported on in this article. The stat has been corrected.