- Season eight of “Game of Thrones” is coming in 2019.
- HBO and the series showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, have gone to extremes to keep the final season under wraps from the public.
- According to a new interview in Entertainment Weekly, they use coded names for actors and had “drone killer” guns on set to prevent bots from flying over set.
- Benioff and Weiss told EW they touched base with “Star Wars” director Rian Johnson and producer Kathleen Kennedy to get some tips on how that franchise has kept its secrets under lock. “Star Wars” is known for being very secretive with its cast and crew when it comes to spoilers.
As the final season of “Game of Thrones” is returning next year, HBO and its showrunners aren’t taking any chances when it comes to possible leaks of season eight.
Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have enlisted some tips from “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson and Lucasfilm president and producer Kathleen Kennedy to make sure everything stays under lock and key.
“They have given us a lot of hints about how to lock things down, things we never would have thought of or didn’t know were possible,” Weiss told Entertainment Weekly.
It makes sense the duo would reach out to them. When “Game of Thrones” comes to an end next year, Benioff and Weiss are heading to Lucasfilm to work on a series of “Star Wars” movies that will be separate from the Skywalker narrative and different from another Rian Johnson trilogy.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Disney franchise is known for being super secretive when it comes to keeping spoilers from getting out into the open.
We already know a few tactics HBO employed to throw off fans from “Game of Thrones” spoilers. The show filmed under the fake name “Face of Angels” and filmed multiple endings so no one knows the real one.
According to EW, real “Game of Thrones” scripts don’t have the show’s title on them and “drone killer” guns were used to prevent bots from flying over the set.
Any production documents on hand had coded names for actors. Emilia Clarke’s name was “Eldiss.” In the past, Kit Harington’s character, Jon Snow, was referred to as “LC,” standing for Lord Commander.
What else could the duo have learned from the Lucasfilm gang? Plenty.
Here are a few of the ways Disney has kept “Star Wars” secrets from getting out in the past:
1. “The Force Awakens” script was printed on dark red pages.
That way if anyone tried to photocopy them, the paper would print out black.
2. Lucasfilm had some intense rules for how actors read their film scripts.
Oscar Isaac, who plays Poe Dameron in the franchise, recalled how he didn’t even get to keep his script.
“You go to the place, and they have a room with cameras and you sit there and read the script,” Isaac told Yahoo Movies. “They’re incredibly protective, because nowadays, with however many hundreds of blogs and this and that, people are just ravenous for content. So because of that, there has to be such tight security around it.”
Benicio del Toro recounted a similar experience while reading the script for “The Last Jedi.”
During an appearance on “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Del Toro said a script was brought to him on a coded iPad and a man needed to wait outside his house for hours while he read it.
Lupita Nyong’o also recalled having a script brought to her on vacation that was locked inside a “contraption.” The actress said she had a limited number of hours to read it while an assistant waited for its return.
It’s the same thing with Marvel, which, like Lucasfilm, is owned by Disney. Only a handful of actors had the option to view the full “Avengers: Infinity War” script to prevent leaks. Benedict Cumberbatch said he was able to read the whole thing.
We doubt every “Game of Thrones” actor received the full entire script if it wasn’t necessary. The less you know about the show, the less you can reveal to the public.
3. Disney and Lucasfilm gave press a set of instructions to follow at screenings for “The Last Jedi,” “The Force Awakens,” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
INSIDER has attended all three of these screenings in the past and Disney doesn’t mess around. Typically, for a press screening, you’ll just receive a confirmation email with things like the date, time, and location of the event. An embargo date is also included for when you can start posting reviews. It’s another ball game with a “Star Wars” film.
For “The Force Awakens” in 2015, press were asked to “refrain from sharing on social media the date, time and location of the screening.” Press was also asked not to “check in” to any events on social media. That was probably to prevent fans from mobbing the theatre.
Two years later at “The Last Jedi” screening, I was told to bring a copy of my email to ensure access to the event. At the end of the day, I didn’t need it, but a lot of people did.
In addition, there’s also always mandatory collection of all electronics. That’s not typical for usual screenings.
This shouldn’t be a big concern for HBO because the network stopped giving out screeners seasons ago after they continuously leaked online. “Game of Thrones” is known for being the most-pirated TV show.
4. Disney delayed a movie tie-in book for “The Force Awakens,” which would have contained spoilers.
If there is any hope to receive George R.R. Martin’s next instalment in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series before season eight is completed, that’s probably not happening.
Still all of that doesn’t prevent the cast from being a little worried about accidentally letting something slip.
“There are moments where you don’t trust yourself to have this in your brain,” Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry on the show, told EW. “You’re in possession of something millions of people want to know. It’s such a bizarre feeling. And between now and when it comes out, I’m gonna be drunk at some point.”
Season eight of “Game of Thrones” will air on HBO in 2019. No release date has been announced. You can follow along with all of our show coverage here.