But today, HBO announced that Benioff and Weiss will return to the network with a totally different show—an alternate history drama titled Confederate, and set in the modern day, in a United States in which slavery remains legal in the south.
The story follows 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.
But a story with this much racial, historical, and cultural baggage will require a tremendously deft touch—particularly in this political climate—and Benioff and Weiss haven’t always, uh, demonstrated that level of delicacy when it comes to hot-button subjects.
But here’s the truth: After the smash success of Game of Thrones, these guys could presumably get a blank check to make basically whatever they want, and this is what they settled on.
The full press release even says Benioff and Weiss originally planned Confederate as a feature film before concluding that "no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO." And if this is the way they want to spend all that creative freedom they earned on Game of Thrones… well, it certainly won’t be boring, right?