What just happened? Barring that divisive final season, Game of Thrones was one of the most loved TV shows of the 21st century, if not all time. The showrunners of the smash series—David Benioff and Dan Weiss—are now moving away from HBO and have landed a multiyear film and TV deal with Netflix.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that the pair have signed a contract worth $200 million to create new projects for the streaming service. Other than the 2022 Star Wars movie, the duo will be producing content exclusively for Netflix.
Benioff and Weiss were said to have been in talks with Disney and Amazon, who were also looking to procure their services, but it seems Netflix offered them the most compelling (as in, the most money) deal. Amazon was said to be the favorites to capture the pair—it already signed a $150 million contract with Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan in April—but its rival ultimately sealed the deal.
"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. 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 duo said, in a statement.
While the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones varied between 91 percent and 97 percent ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, the eighth season managed just 58 percent. Viewers complained that episodes from the final season destroyed years of character development, contained rushed plots, and featured some poor writing. It even led to a petition that was signed by over 1.1 million people demanding season eight be remade. Not surprisingly, it wasn’t.
Perhaps as a result of the backlash, Benioff and Weiss canceled their Comic-Con appearance last month and have avoided interviews. Netflix will no doubt hope they can repeat some of the show’s earlier magic in their new projects.
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