Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be leaving Westeros soon and heading to an alternate reality where the American Civil War came to a very different ending. Their next HBO series is called Confederate and was announced today. However, it won’t be ready for a long time since production won’t start until the final season of GOT wraps.
The project will be set in an alternate world where a third American Civil War is about to start. In this universe, the Southern states build a Confederate States of America that survived the end of the first Civil War and still has legal slavery, which has become a modern institution. Confederate will follow the lives of men and women who live in a divided America, where the Mason-Dixon line is actually a Demilitarized Zone, like the one that splits North and South Korea in the real world.
No cast was announced, but Weiss and Benioff have already started building their writers’ room. Justified‘s Nichelle Tamble Spellman and Empire‘s Malcolm Spellman will executive produce and write. Game of Thrones veterans Carolyn Strauss and Bernadette Caulfield will also join.
In a statement, Weiss and Benioff said the idea for Confederate began as a feature film. “But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO,” the two said. “There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series, but we are creating a world, and we couldn’t imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm, who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills.”
Casey Bloys, president of HBO Programming, added:
As the brilliant Game of Thrones winds down to its final season, we are thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with Dan and David, knowing that any subject they take on will result in a unique and ambitious series. Their intelligent, wry and visually stunning approach to storytelling has a way of engaging an audience and taking them on an unforgettable journey. Confederate promises to be no exception, and we are honored to be adding the talented team of Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman to the mix.
HBO has every reason to be confident in Weiss and Benioff, since they’re the executive producers behind the biggest scripted show on television today. The GOT season seven premiere was the most-watched broadcast in HBO history, garnering 10.1 million live viewers on July 16. The episode added another 6 million from DVR and streaming. That was a 50 percent jump from the season six premiere, Variety reports.
Benioff and Weiss developed Game of Thrones, which is based on George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice And Fire novels. They have won four Emmys for the show, winning Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series in 2015 and 2016.
Before working on GOT, Benioff also wrote the films Troy, The Kite Runner and Brothers. In 2013, Weiss and Benioff also wrote an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia together.