"Game of Thrones," the movie! Sounds like a good idea. Might even be true one of these days. But George R.R. Martin -- author of "A Song of Ice and Fire" and presumably someone who would know if the latest "Game of Thrones" movie report is true -- has once again been forced to debunk another baseless clickbait story on the subject.
He wrote on his blog late Wednesday, under the post name "What Movie?," that there was no truth to a story which originated earlier this week in a British tab claiming definitively a "Game of Thrones" movie was forthcoming.
Here's just some of what poor beleaguered Martin -- who can't finish "The Winds of Winter" because he has to keep batting away these idiotic rumors -- had to say: "Let me review, for those who came in late. The idea of ending GAME OF THRONES with one or more major feature films was first floated oh, three or four years ago. Let me say once again: this was NOT MY IDEA.
"However, I may have been the first one to mention the notion in public -- where and how I no longer recall -- so somehow I became associated with it. I did say that I liked the idea. Of course I liked the idea.
"How not? This was back in the early days, where we couldn't even afford to shoot the Battle of the Green Fork and had to knock Tyrion unconscious instead. When the king's hunting party consisted of four guys on foot walking through the woods.
"At that time, in that context, the idea of big blockbuster movies with a LORD OF THE RINGS sized budget was powerfully attractive."
He goes on to say that the idea remains "powerfully attractive. Not just to me, but to many people connected with the show. Actors, directors, producers, writers. How not? It would be a great way to end."
Interestingly he notes (alas again, because he's pretty much had to trot out the standard denial each time this comes up) that HBO is not particularly interested because it's "in the TV business ..."
"And those of you with long memories may recall all the rumors about a SOPRANOS movie ... a ROME movie ... a DEADWOOD movie. Rumors is all they were. And that's all this one is, too, at least for now ..."
He then ends the whole rant with this priceless kicker: "Don't take any of this stuff seriously. Clickbait journalism is to journalism as military music is to music."
Meanwhile, if I may be so bold as to disagree with a genius, I for one am not so sure the best way to end "Game of Thrones" is on the big screen.
There's a big money appeal, certainly -- and while HBO may be in the TV business, its parent company, Time Warner, does happen to be in the movie business. This could happen if the bankers and accountants and stockholders want it to.
There are, of course, a vast number of series that went on to become films (most often long after the series wrapped) and some which even went on to extend the mythology and story on to that big silver screen -- "Star Trek" is the usual go-to example, and next is "The X Files."
But while I may not speak for every Trekkie among us, I think there's a sound argument to be made for a case that the movie franchise, or at least certain films comprising it, did not necessarily improve upon the show or shows (because the movies grew out of the spin offs).
I do think there's an airtight argument to be made for a case that says the "X Files" movies were not only vastly inferior to the series, but even diminished its considerable accomplishments.
I'm not about to make one of those "TV is Better Than Movies" case here. That's ridiculous, a pointless argument.
But there is a creative challenge involved in making the leap, plus a sense among fans that they've been cheated: Oh, we didn't wrap the series! Too bad, sucker: You'll have to pay 15 bucks for the movie.
Another issue is simply a profound disconnect: The TV series -- "GoT," in this instance -- is part of the Hivemind, which must explore every nuance of its cherished object in real time, and then do some more masticating the next day, in a thousand TV posts, and a million more tweets, etc.
Movies -- even great ones -- are one-and-done affairs. Of course there will be a vast amount of social media interaction, but there's a finite aspect to it because those who have seen the movie already know the end.
Another challenge: "The Sopranos" movie, as an example, wasn't made because David Chase had enough sense, I think, to leave well enough alone. He already finished his great triumph, in a scene that faded to snow.
Millions of fans howled, but it was genius, in hindsight. Tony's fate became, in a sense, what you wanted it to become. He could live. He could die. Your choice, based on whatever you thought was appropriate, morally, or narratively.
Do you or anyone honestly think that could have been improved upon in a MOVIE? It could have easily been destroyed: A movie that would only serve to demolish the intellectual and aesthetic framework that Chase had left in place.
So no: Let's get over this idea that a "GoT" movie is a grand and glorious idea that fans are just panting for. The series, this great series, is where it began and should end.
I will add one important postscript: There is little chance "GoT," the series, will be able to include the final two books of "Ice and Fire." "A Dream of Spring" may well be years away, even longer if Martin has to keep denying movie rumors. A movie may -- and I would add only MAY -- be a way to one day incorporate both books. But a case could also be made for a spin off series, too.
Meanwhile, I think I'll go trawling the World Wide Web right now for click-bait on "Mad Men: The Movie." Let's see what the "highly sourced" story will say: "Don Draper returns to New York, where he produces the Coke ad, marries Peggy, divorces Peggy, reluctantly joins the Hari Krishna, reunites with Paul Kinsey, both decide to launch agency to produce ads for cults ..."
Oh dear. On second thought, I think I'd better get to work instead.