A bidding war between rival studios to secure the services of Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss reached its finale on Wednesday: The screenwriting and producing duo has signed a nine-figure overall deal with Netflix, Deadline reports.
The battle to sign Benioff and Weiss began three months ago with six contenders: HBO, Disney, Comcast, Netflix, Amazon, and Apple. But early-favorite HBO was gored while boar hunting, and Apple got murdered by a demon summoned by Netflix’s mysterious adviser Melisandre, while Comcast made a careless merger and had its throat cut. That left Netflix, Amazon, and Disney, and observers expected an epic clash between these three powerful television forces. Then Netflix won, presumably because Disney did a war crime while Amazon committed incest in the basement of a collapsing castle, but to be honest, everybody involved had visibly lost interest by the time the deal closed. Maybe Arya stabbed them? In a statement, Benioff and Weiss wrote:
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.
The duo will have to finish a few upcoming projects while they get things up and running at Netflix: They’re committed to writing a prison break movie and a trilogy of Star Wars movies for Disney, as well as a Kurt Cobain film for Universal. One project that won’t survive: Confederate, their HBO alt-history series set in a world in which the Confederacy won the civil war. (Given the protests and derision that greeted the series’ announcement, there’s probably not going to be much wailing or gnashing of teeth over its demise.) The deal was brokered by Benioff and Weiss’ attorney rather than their agent, because of the ongoing dispute over packaging fees. There’s no word yet what Benioff and Weiss’ first Netflix project will be, but one thing is certain: The streaming network’s all-at-once release model means we’ll be able to start yelling about the season finale the very same day it’s released.