A few years back, when the new wave of cinematic, serialized television was still in its infancy and shows like Lost and 24 were all the rage, there was talk of how these and other shows could wind up concluding not with a traditional finale but with a feature-length movie released to theaters, which would be where the running story would climax and all loose ends would be tied up.
Plans for a 24 movie have continued to come and go in other fashions, not necessarily as an end point to what we'd been watching on the small screen, but every time a successful show's future is put into question -- how many more seasons and how much longer in time can they last -- the potential for a big-screen finish is on the table.
The latest show to be the topic of that discussion is Game of Thrones. Recently it was revealed in Vanity Fair that there is a desire to end the hit HBO fantasy series after seven or eight seasons. That's not just because there's a certain ending known for the source material, George R.R. Martin's novels, which aren't yet completed and published but still have a blueprint in place for their eventual existence.
Now Martin has told The Hollywood Reporter that he'd like to see his stories go beyond that television deadline. "It might need a feature to tie things up," he stated after the season four premiere in New York City this week, "something with a feature budget, like $100 million for two hours. Those dragons get real big, you know." He also teased possibility for a prequel movie -- or a dozen of them.
TV-to-movie plans are a hot idea right now, especially given the relative fan satisfaction of the Veronica Mars release this week. And of course there's that seemingly less desired Entourage feature on the way. Few shows are as ripe for movie-size spectacle as Game of Thrones, but is it fair to the fans to make them pay for a movie ticket in order to see how the thing ends, even with bigger effects and whatnot?
Of course, Game of Thrones is on HBO, which already has us spending extra for the luxury of seeing such quality television. It's not like we'd be paying $12 for something spun off of a broadcast series that looks and feels like a lengthy episode of that series (ahem, Veronica Mars). Still, home viewers are sure to call foul on anything that asks more of them and seems to exploit their need for the closure.
Therefore I do like and prefer the ideas of prequels or spin-offs or other movies that work as separate parts of that universe without being necessary to the enjoyment of the ongoing narrative found on the small screen. Especially if we can see something from the past when dragons weren't so rare. And as long as they remain R rated.
Would you like to see Game of Thrones conclude on the big screen?
Here are some responses received so far via Twitter:
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