EXCLUSIVE: Emmy Award-winning Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have found their new home. Nearly three months after Deadline revealed that Benioff & Weiss were being courted by six studios for an overall global deal to write, produce and direct new series and films, we can reveal that they have signed an exclusive deal with Netflix.
Nobody was confirming numbers, but sources tell Deadline the deal is in the 9-figure range like some of the other mega-deals signed by show creators like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, each of whom also moved to Netflix. The deal for Benioff & Weiss, which we hear is for five years and is worth as much as $300 million, was brokered by Gretchen Rush, their longtime attorney at Hansen Jacobson Teller.
When Deadline revealed that Benioff & Weiss were meeting on the overall deal at a time when Game of Thrones was wrapping up its final season of the drama, the duo had met with Netflix as well as HBO/WarnerMedia, Disney, Comcast, Amazon and Apple. By late last month, the field had narrowed to Netflix, Amazon and Disney/FX. Benioff & Weiss spent the past decade at HBO, fully focused on the groundbreaking series based on the George RR Martin novels.
Netflix confirmed to Deadline that it had won the deal.
Said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos: “We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix. They are a creative force and have delighted audiences worldwide with their epic storytelling. We can’t wait to see what their imaginations will bring to our members.”
Said David Benioff & Dan Weiss: “We’ve had a beautiful run with HBO for more than a decade and we’re grateful to everyone there for always making us feel at home. Over the past few months we’ve spent many hours talking to Cindy Holland and Peter Friedlander, as well as Ted Sarandos and Scott Stuber. We remember the same shots from the same ‘80s movies; we love the same books; we’re excited about the same storytelling possibilities. Netflix has built something astounding and unprecedented, and we’re honored they invited us to join them.”
They have several obligations they intend to fulfill. They are creating, writing and producing one of the next Star Wars trilogies (Rian Johnson is doing his own, with others in the works), they wrote for Universal a Kurt Cobain project, and are posed to adapt the prison break tale Dirty White Boys for Fox/Disney.
A priority will be to hatch another water cooler series, this time for Netflix. GOT won the Prime Time Emmy for Best Drama the last three years the show was eligible, for the rare drama series that went against the binge-ing release strategy of streaming rivals. Now they are on the other side of that, looking to capture the zeitgeist as many Netflix series have done.