Netflix has signed “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to a massive overall deal that will encompass both TV and film.
The streamer landed the duo over other media companies that were vying for the two’s services, including Amazon, Disney and even HBO’s parent WarnerMedia. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix,” said Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos. “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.”
The two are currently set to write and produce the first “Star Wars” film after this December’s “Rise of Skywalker” for Disney-owned LucasFilm, slated to hit theaters in 2022. While Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that the upcoming 2022 release is from the two, he wouldn’t comment on whether or not any of the other two films in 2024 and 2026 will come from them. “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson is also developing his own trilogy of “Star Wars” films.
“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,” Benioff and Weiss said. “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.”
Though they didn’t have a deal with HBO, Benioff and Weiss spent the last decade with the pay cable network in charge of “Game of Thrones,” which has won the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Drama for its last three seasons. The George R.R. Martin adaptation, which is up for the same award this year, holds the record for both most nominations for any show in Emmy history and the most nominations for any single season. “Game of Thrones” ended its run after eight seasons in May.
Landing the two adds more powerful producing talent for Netflix, which has in the last few years signed the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, as it prepares to ward off new challengers for the streaming iron throne. Disney, Apple, NBCUniversal and even Benioff and Weiss’ old home at WarnerMedia are launching their own streaming services within the next year.
The final season of “Game of Thrones” was divisive among fans of the series — there was even a petition pleading with HBO to re-do the eight season — with the series finale “The Iron Throne” among the most criticized. The backlash from some fans regarding the show’s ending is a topic Benioff and Weiss have yet to address. The two were scheduled to participate in a Q&A during the show’s farewell panel at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this month, but dropped out at the last minute.
The deal for Benioff and Weiss was first reported by Deadline.