With HBO’s grand fantasy series Game of Thrones winding down, the show’s cast and crew must now begin to look forward to future projects. In a major announcement reported by Entertainment Weekly, HBO revealed that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss will continue working with the premiere cable network with their next project, a new original drama series titled Confederate.
Confederate will be set in an alternate timeline where the South won the American Civil War back in 1865 and slavery was maintained as legal, continuing to evolve through the years into a modern institution. The show will follow events that lead to the Third American Civil War (then suggesting that there was an additional Civil War between the 19th century and when the show takes place). Benioff and Weiss plan to form the show around an array of characters, from freedom fighters to slave hunters.
Like Game of Thrones, Confederate will be both written and executive produced by Benioff and Weiss. Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Justified, The Good Wife) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire) will also work with Benioff and Weiss as writers and executive producers.
In a statement on their next project, the two writers revealed that they initially conceived the concept as a feature film. “But our experience on ‘Thrones’ has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO,” they said. “There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series, but we are creating a world, and we couldn’t imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm, who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills.”
David Benioff first began as a novelist and has several books under his belt, including The 25th Hour, which was quickly adapted into a film (also written by Benioff) starring Edward Norton in 2002. Weiss, who dabbled in both film and creative writing when he was younger, met Benioff in graduate school, and the two began their creative partnership soon after. The two were chosen by HBO in 2007 to serve as showrunners and write Game of Thrones – and the rest is history.
Confederate is expected to begin production once Game of Thrones finishes.