HBO and HBO Max chief content officer Casey Bloys recently sat down with Vulture to discuss the company’s new streaming service, which, after a rocky start, has rebounded to the tune of some 70 million subscribers, helped out by a string of buzzy originals and hit HBO series (including The Flight Attendant, Mare of Easttown, new seasons of Succession and Curb Your Enthusiasm) and the fact that WarnerMedia released all of its 2021 movies straight to the service. However it happened, HBO Max has been a success.
And the company is looking to double down in 2022. One of the biggest shows on the horizon is House of the Dragon, a Game of Thrones prequel series set approximately 200 years before the original. The show will cover the Dance of the Dragons, a brutal House Targaryen civil war that tore Westeros apart.
There’s no release date for House of the Dragon yet, outside of a vague 2022 window. “[P]roduction is not wrapped,” Bloys said. “I was there last week visiting [showrunners] Ryan Condal and Miguel Sapochnik on the set. I’ve seen enough to feel very good and very happy.”
House of the Dragon will come out in a year when fantasy shows are everywhere. Amazon has The Wheel of Time on right now, Netflix is about to drop the second season of The Witcher, and Amazon is pouring a ton of money into a The Lord of the Rings series that's set to debut next September. Bloys, playing it cool, simply said that, “I’m not too worried about what anybody else is doing at this point.”
How many Game of Thrones prequels will HBO make?
House of the Dragon is the only Game of Thrones spinoff officially in production, but HBO is at least mulling others. Might the network ever go full Marvel, with multiple new shows a year?
“The way that we have approached Game of Thrones is wanting to get it right,” Bloys said. “So we certainly have other things in development and things that we feel good about. But right now, the only thing that is green-lit and coming is House of the Dragon. That’s not to say there will not be other things, but we’re in the process of developing and seeing what feels like the best edition.”
Still no Harry Potter show in development
Bloys also weighed in on a couple of other HBO Max-related topics. For instance, earlier this year it was rumored that the service was developing a Harry Potter show, but those reports were reportedly exaggerated. Months later, nothing has changed:
"There are no updates on it. Like we talked about, the IP—that world—is really exciting, and people love it. It would be wonderful to do that. But there is nothing—no series to report. When there is, I will let you know. But nothing to report on that."
Overall, Bloys says that HBO Max is here to stay. “[M]y hope is that, a year from now, we’re cementing our place as one of the must-have services. Because we’re all in this race to end up as one of the top streaming services. It is a race. Not everybody’s going to survive, and my hope is that our programming makes us one of the must-haves.”