With their fantasy juggernaut Game of Thrones coming to a close, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have another epic project in their sights. HBO has given a straight-to-series order to Confederate, an alternate universe Civil War drama from the duo, the pay-cable network announced today. Benioff and Weiss will create and write the series, in addition to serving as showrunners. Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Justified) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire) will serve as writers and executive producers, while Carolyn Strauss (Game of Thrones) and Bernadette Caulfield (Game of Thrones) will come onboard strictly as EPs.
Confederate “chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. 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.”
“We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film,” said Benioff and Weiss in a statement. “But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO. 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.”
“As the brilliant Game of Thrones winds down to its final season, we are thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with Dan and David, knowing that any subject they take on will result in a unique and ambitious series,” said HBO president of programming Casey Bloys. “Their intelligent, wry and visually stunning approach to storytelling has a way of engaging an audience and taking them on an unforgettable journey. Confederate promises to be no exception, and we are honored to be adding the talented team of Nichelle and Malcolm Spellman to the mix.”
Game of Thrones is currently airing its penultimate seventh season, as everyone who uses the internet cannot help but be aware of. HBO has a whopping four Thrones spin-offs in development, with Benioff and Weiss attached as executive producers.
Production on Confederate will begin following the final season of Game of Thrones, which means we’re staring down the barrel of a long, indefinite wait. Settle in, folks.