Back in 2017 HBO announced they had greenlit a new show from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss called Confederate. The announcement was and has remained steeped in controversy, as Confederate was an alternate history show where the Confederates had successfully seceded from the rest of the US after the Civil War. In other words, slavery would still be legal in the Confederate States.
I think anyone can probably understand why right now especially, the idea of a show that shows half of the US still with slaves is a little controversial. Honestly, depending on the time period of the show, I have serious doubts about how it could practically work. However, I also feel that if done tastefully, there should be no subject that is too taboo for TV to tackle. HBO completely supported Benioff and Weiss at the time, however they still had Game of Thrones to finish off and they set about wrapping that show up as quickly as was humanly possible, but not to get onto Confederate. Instead the pair were signed up by Disney to make the next Star Wars Trilogy and that seems to be where they are focusing their energies for the moment.
Yesterday however, we found out that Benioff and Weiss had signed a massive deal with Netflix which depending on the reports you read is in the ballpark of $200 – $300 Million. So I guess the industry wonders what happens to Confederate and it seems as if the show is now completely dead in the water. If you know anything about this industry you will know that a show developed under one studio cannot simply be lifted and taken elsewhere, in this case from HBO to Netflix, as HBO have rights there. HBO could of course give up any ownership of the idea they have, but it does seems as though Confederate will never happen now. Vulture’s editor Josef Adalian took to social media to confirm that as far as he knows Confederate is as dead as the real Confederacy.
It's pretty obvious, but people familiar with the situation confirm that CONFEDERATE, the alt-history project Benioff and Weiss had in development at HBO, is now completely, finally dead at the network. It won't live on without them.
— TVMoJoe (@TVMoJoe) August 8, 2019
Benioff and Weiss have gone down in my estimation by the way they handled the end of Thrones, and I can’t help feel that their decision to end the show quicker than anyone else wanted was motivated by their desire to work on Star Wars and set up this big deal with Netflix. I just wonder if in years to come the pair will regret that and wish they took the time and care with the ending of Game of Thrones that it deserved. Saying that, if they could have pulled it off, Confederate could have been a great alt history look at racism, slavery and dark history of that practice across the globe, not just the US. But I understand that white-supremist groups brandishing Confederate flags right now is probably not the best time for this kind of show.
Outside of their Star Wars movies, who knows what is next on Netflix for Benioff and Weiss, but with the money outlaid for their services, Netflix will be expecting them to start producing some stories very soon. Are you happy or bummed that Confederate seems like it’s been shot down by General Grant? Leave any thoughts you have in the usual place below.
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SOURCE: Josef Adalian (via Twitter)