Naomi Watts
Andrea Raffin /

Naomi Watts has officially signed on to star in HBO’s upcoming ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel spin-off.  The pilot was written by Jane Goldman, who also functions as executive producer and showrunner.  Goldman’s script is based on a story she crafted with George R.R. Martin.  This prequel is set thousands of years before the events of ‘Game of Thrones’ and is said to depict “the world’s descent from the golden Age of Heroes into its darkest hour.”

“Only one thing is for sure: from the horrifying secrets of Westeros’ history to the true origin of the white walkers, the mysteries of the East to the Starks of legend… it’s not the story we think we know.”

Though very little is known about the show or its characters, Watts will be playing “a charismatic socialite hiding a dark secret.”

In July, HBO President of programming Casey Bloys stated:

“There are very strong female characters but it’s an ensemble, there are men and women.  Jane is a very good writer, we don’t want to limit her to writing female leads. There are a lot of very complicated leads in (the pilot).”

Although the prequel takes place thousands of years before ‘Game of Thrones’, it doesn’t take place quite as long ago as 8,000 years, as was originally rumored.  In August, Bloys said “It’s a very different setting, a very different time in Westeros, It will feel different but still Game of Thrones.

No other cast members have been announced.  Watts has twice been nominated for an Academy Award– in 2003 for ’21 Grams’ and in 2013 for ‘The Impossible’.  In January of this year, she appeared in Claire McCarthy’s ‘Ophelia’ a retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ from the POV of its female lead.  Last year, she starred on the revival of ‘Twin Peaks’ and on the Netflix series ‘Gypsy’ which was critically acclaimed, but cancelled due to low streams.  She is also recognizable from films such as the ‘Ring’ horror series, ‘Mulholland Drive’, ‘King Kong’, ‘J. Edgar’, ‘Diana’ and ‘Allegiant’.

Check back for updates as they arrive.

Source: Deadline