A new reports suggests HBO passed on offering a deal to Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss. The report also suggests their Star Wars deal might be up in the air.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) notes that Benioff and Weiss recently signed a mega deal with Netflix. The deal reportedly signs Benioff and Weiss for a five-year $250 million deal. In their report, they note that HBO “was unwilling to offer the bid [Benioff and Weiss] wanted.” In fact, it points out that WarnerMedia, HBO’s parent company, elected to go with J.J. Abrams instead as they are “in final talks for a $500 million pact with J.J. Abrams.”
HBO and WarnerMedia was not the only company to pass on Benioff and Weiss. Universal TV president Pearlena Igbokwe told THR, “Certain people command [nine figures,] and we’ve made those deals. [Benioff and Weiss] is not a deal that I went after.”
Benioff and Weiss were supposed to be part of a new HBO series called Confederate that would be similar to Amazon’s Man in the High Castle. The series would see the Civil War end in a stalemate and see slavery still be legal in the Confederacy. In fact the show was expected to showcase a “third American Civil Warin an alternate reality.” HBO ended up pulling the show after it was opposed on social media.
Not only does THR report that HBO passed on Benioff and Weiss, but it also suggests their Star Wars deal might be up in the air. THR reports, “Sources say the Thrones pair is writing a treatment for a Star Wars trilogy and is committed to penning at least one of the films.” This isn’t anything new. In fact, it echoes our reporting from May which indicated the two Game of Thrones creators might only be attached to one film. (Related: Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Might Only Be Attached to One Star Wars Film)
Disney CEO Bob Iger spoke at the MoffetNathanson Media & Communications indicating Benioff and Weiss were only attached to one Star Wars film. He specifically stated:
“We did a deal with David Benioff and D.B Weiss, who are famous for Game Of Thrones, and the next movie that we release will be theirs. And we’re not saying anything more about that.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy also told EW in April, “As they finish Game of Thrones, they’re going to segue into Star Wars. They’re working very closely with Rian.”
Star Wars had originally announced that Benioff and Weiss would “write and produce a new series of Star Wars films.” They specifically noted that “these new films will be separate from both the episodic Skywalker saga and the recently-announced trilogy being developed by Rian Johnson.” (Related: Disney Announces More Star Wars Films from Game of Thrones Creators)
Disney and more specifically Lucasfilm and Star Wars appear to be in a tailspin and it all stems from Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi. Since the release of The Last Jedi, Disney has seen Star Wars merchandise sales decline, lack of attendance at their newly opened Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Disneyland, a financial bomb in Solo: A Star Wars Story, the cancellation of the animated series Star Wars Resistance after just two seasons, and a complete and utter lack of interest in the upcoming Rise of the Skywalker film. (Related: Report: Disneyland’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge Employees See Hours Cut as Attendance Doesn’t Meet Disney’s Expectations)
As we reported back in May, the ship might not be set right until Kathleen Kennedy’s contract expires in 2021, a year before Benioff and Weiss’ Star Wars movie is expected to hit theaters.
What do you make of this report? Do you think Netflix overpaid for Benioff and Weiss? Do you think HBO made a good decision to pass on them? Do you think their Star Wars deal is up in the air?