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15 shows vying to become the next “Game of Thrones”

By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

HBO’s Game of Thrones is the biggest show on television, so it’s no surprise that the whole industry is hoping to replicate its success. In fact, 2019 will see a full slate of prestige fantasy epics from traditional networks, as well as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

While it’s unclear if any of these will be “the next Game of Thrones,” it does seem that we’re entering a golden age of fantasy television. Here’s what’s coming up:

(Three) Game of Thrones spinoffs

  • Based on: original screenwriting, but per GoT author George R.R. Martin’s official blog, one might be based on his 2018 novel Fire & Blood.
  • Service: HBO
  • What we know: In 2017, Martin said that there would be five GoT spinoffs, but we learned last month that one of these—a rumored prequel from one of the show’s main scriptwriters—had been nixed. Another of the prequels has already been cast.

The Lord of The Rings 

  • Based on: J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy of the same name
  • Service: Amazon
  • What we know: The company will produce a five-season series based on the books, in partnership with Tolkien’s estate, as well as the rights-holders involved with the LOTR and Hobbit film franchises.

His Dark Materials

  • Based on: Philip Pullman’s epic fantasy trilogy of the same name
  • Services: BBC and HBO
  • What we know: Dafne Keen will star as Lyra Belacqua, the show’s protagonist. Other lead actors include James McAvoy as Lord Asriel, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as Lee Scoresby.

The Chronicles of Narnia

  • Based on: the novels of the same name by C.S. Lewis
  • Service: Netflix
  • What we know: Netflix acquired both film and television rights to the book series, and its plan includes both films and a TV series, according to Rotten Tomatoes.

The Witcher

  • Based on: the Witcher novels and stories by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • Service: Netflix
  • What we know: Henry Cavill will play the lead role in the series, and wears a controversial wig.

Cursed

  • Based on: a forthcoming fantasy novel by Tom Wheeler
  • Service: Netflix
  • What we know: The 10-part series will be a retelling of the legend of King Arthur though the perspective of the Lady of the Lake.

Conan

  • Based on: Robert E. Howard’s books on ‘Conan the Cimmerian’
  • Service: Amazon
  • What we know: Game of Thrones director Miguel Sapochnik (“Battle of the Bastards,” “The Long Night,” and “The Bells”) is set to direct the pilot. Expect blood.

The Wheel of Time 

  • Based on: the fantasy series by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Services: Amazon and Sony Pictures Television
  • What we know: Rafe Judkins of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will serve as the show’s writer and executive producer.

The Dark Tower

  • Based on: Stephen King’s fantasy series of the same name
  • Service: Amazon
  • What we know: Glen Mazzara, former executive producer on The Walking Dead, will serve as the showrunner.

Shadow and Bone

  • Based on: the first two books in Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy
  • Service: Netflix
  • What we know: The eight-episode first season will see Bird Box screenwriter Eric Heisserer as showrunner and Stranger Things‘ Shawn Levy as an executive producer.

Good Omens

  • Based on: the novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman and the late Terry Pratchett
  • Services: Amazon and BBC
  • What we know: The six-episode series will debut on Amazon and air on the BBC, with Gaiman acting as executive producer and showrunner. It boasts an all-star cast, with Jon Hamm as the angel Gabriel, Frances McDormand as God, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Satan.

The Kingkiller Chronicles

  • Based on: the series of the same name by Patrick Rothfuss
  • Service: Showtime
  • What we know: Lin-Manuel Miranda is expected to create the show’s soundtrack, while Sam Raimi (known for the Spider-Man trilogy) is expected to serve as director.