Watts will star in the untitled prequel to the smash hit fantasy series. HBO is developing five spin-offs from Game of Thrones, and Watts is reportedly signed on to the one that already has a pilot order. While the show's title has not officially been confirmed, author George R.R. Martin has suggested that he would like to call it The Long Night.
Out of all the new stories coming from Westeros, this is the one fans have the most information on so far. The show will take place between 8,000 and 10,000 years prior to the events of Game of Thrones, the first time the White Walkers marched south, when the First Men built The Wall.
According to EW, Watts will play "a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret." This leaves things pretty wide open — especially in a time in Westerosi history that viewers and readers have spent very little time in so far.
The prequel series is expected to begin filming in early 2019. So far, HBO has only ordered a pilot, meaning that it has a long way to go before it's coming out in 10-episode chunks every other year. Still, the addition of a big name like Watts is promising for the fledgling series.
The show is written by Jane Goldman, a screenwriter known for hits like Kingsman: The Secret Service, Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. She will get some help from Martin, the author behind A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of novels on which Game of Thrones is based. However, Martin has done a lot to actually downplay his own involvement with the project.
In a blog post about the show back in June, Martin gave all of the credit for the script to Goldman. He also revealed that she would act as showrunner on the project.
"I've consulted with all of the writers on all of the successor shows, and several of them have visited me in Santa Fe for long days of discussion, and we've gone back and forth in email, text, and telephone, so I have definitely been involved... but really, the accolades here should go to Jane. She has been an absolute thrill to work with… and my god, what a talent," he wrote.
Later in the post, Martin reassured fans that he was still working on his long-awaited novel, Winds of Winter, which has been in the works since 2011.
"If I wasn't busy with WINDS, don't you think I'd be scripting one or more of these pilots myself?" he pointed out. "It's not as if I've never written for TV."