D.B. Weiss and David Benioff signed a massive deal with Netflix to produce movies and TV series for the streaming giant.
Dwindling subscriptions, lack of big original shows and severe competition are making Netflix scramble to get as many “talent” as they can in their stable so as to compete in the streaming wars to come. The quotation used on world talent is because the people we are about to talk about are less than talented; well, it is what the internet thinks.
Yes, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff just signed a $200 million deal with Netflix to produce movies and TV shows for the streaming giant exclusively. Since the deal is exclusive, the ‘Confederate’ show at HBO seems to be no longer an option with the two writers and creators jumping ship and working exclusively for Netflix.
The deal signed by the two former writers of Game of Thrones excludes them from working with any other company, but the deal doesn’t include the restriction as it pertains to the new Star Wars trilogy the creative duo are working on, for Disney.
After the announcement of the signing, Ted Sarandos, the chief content officer of Netflix, said, “We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix. 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 creators of Game of Thrones released a joint statement, both of them are still out of the public eye, or any situation where they might get asked questions about the last season of Game of Thrones. In the joint statement the two thanked HBO for their support but there was no mention of the show ‘Confederate’ which the creators pitched to HBO in 2017 and the premium cable made the announcement with relation to the show saying the two writers will create a show based on the alternate history of America where slavery was still legal in the south.
The show’s announcement drew a lot of criticism from people who thought two white people dealing with slavery would come off as entertainment and not education; those were the nice people saying it there were some really nasty comments which followed the announcement. Ever since 2017, the show was on back burners, and now it seems the series is totally dead.
“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. 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,” the two wrote in their statement. “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.”
The creators of Game of Thrones will still get executive producers credit on the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, but they will not be near any of HBO shows in a day to day producing capacity.
Weiss and Benioff were subject of a bidding war which included Amazon and Disney with Amazon thought to be the frontrunners after they got Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy to a deal of $150 million. It seems the company didn’t spend enough money on Weiss and Benioff after they decided to take their talents to Netflix. Disney was also looking to hire the duo after the relationship they formed with them while they were writing the next Star Wars movie, but they too were queasy about spending the kind of money Netflix invested on the creators.
Many streaming platforms are tying up talented creators to multiyear multi-movie contracts like Netflix tied up Ryan Murphy of American Horror Story and Shonda Rhimes, the creator of Grey’s Anatomy to produce movies and shows for them. The costly deals are coming on the heels of lower subscription with people subscribing only to watch the flagship shows and then leaving immediately after they are done. Netflix will be looking to position year-round flagship programming with the people they’ve signed to eye-watering contracts so the subscribers will stay for the whole year and not tune in for Stranger Things only.
Watch: The trailer for Stranger Things season season 3
Netflix is also making headlines this week after canning the beloved show The OA after just two seasons and a cliffhanger finale, their explanation was the viewership for the show didn’t justify the high cost they were incurring. Netflix is moving away from shows people may discover, while watching one of the beloved series, by recommendation with the focus shifting to high budgeted high reward type of programming which will bring in more eyeballs. The streaming giants recently released Wu Assassins to gain some more footing in international market.
Will the $200 million spent by the streaming giant on the people who are currently one of the most hated personalities in the world pay off? We don’t think so, the built-in fan base for the duo is all but lost and as long as Weiss and Benioff do not come out and talk to fans about the finale of Game of Thrones, most of them are going to pass on the new shows and movies form the two, including Star Wars.