The news of the high-profile assignment immediately raised serious doubts about the fate of Confederate, which was supposed to be their followup project to GOT, with production set to “begin following the final season of Game Of Thrones“.
That is when Benioff and Weiss will now embark on their Star Wars duties. “We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of Game of Thrones is complete,” the two said in a statement for the Star Wars announcement today.
The Star Wars gig is likely to tie the duo up for years, making them unavailable to work on Confederate, and rendering the series unlikely to see the light of day any time soon if ever.
Written by Benioff and Weiss, who also were to showrun, Confederate was to chronicle events leading to the Third American Civil War. It was to place in an alternate timeline, where the Southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story was to follow a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate, and the families of people in their thrall.
The premise of modern-day slavery immediately ignited strong backlash, with HBO toppers expressing regret publicly about the way the project was announced.
There was no new update on Confederate when Deadline asked HBO president Casey Bloys about the status of the project at TCA last month.
“Dave and David are in production on Game of Thrones, they are still talking (about Confederate) but it’s going to be a year, year and a half before there is anything,” Bloys said. “They have to finish GOT.” He confirmed that the project’s creative team, which also included co-writers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, was still intact. Like Benioff and Weiss, the Spellmans also have been in demand, with each working on other projects.
GOT‘s final eighth season is now filming for a 2019 premiere on HBO.