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HBO is throwing everything into Game of Thrones spinoffs

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$50 million a season isn’t enough

Game of thrones 610 - Jaime and Bronn on horseback Helen Sloan/HBO

It’s no surprise that HBO is planning to do whatever it takes to keep the Game of Thrones train rolling.

Francesca Orsi, HBO’s senior vice president of drama, spoke at a television conference in Israel about the network’s future plans for the franchise. Orsi said the network is planning to budget close to — if not just as much — on the spinoffs as the series currently receives.

“$50 million (per season) would never fly for what we are trying to do,” Orsi said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We are going big.”

Orsi said HBO is planning between three and five spinoffs, but that doesn’t mean each spinoff will make it into the development phase. HBO first announced its partnership with four writers on four different spinoffs last May.

“We’ve closed deals for four very talented writers to each explore different time periods of George R.R. Martin’s vast and rich universe,” an HBO representative told Polygon at the time.

Max Borenstein (Kong: Skull Island), Jane Goldman (X-Men: First Class), Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale) and Carly Wray (Mad Men) are all working on individual spinoffs.

Although HBO is already looking ahead to spinoffs, it hasn’t forgotten about Game of Thrones final season. The season is set to air in 2019 and, according to Orsi, will bring about an emotional closure for fans.

“None of the cast had received the scripts prior, and one by one they started to fall down to their deaths,” Orsi said, talking about a recent table read. “By the end, the last few words on the final script, the tears just started falling down. Then there was applause that lasted 15 minutes.”

Gee, who could have guessed that Game of Thrones’ final season would kill off some of its major characters? The season doesn’t have a premiere date just yet, but is expected to debut in early 2019.