Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are not actively working on their planned – and already-controversial – HBO alternate-history series Confederate. Backlash ensued after HBO announced details of the new Benioff and Weiss series, an alternative history of America where the Confederacy remains separate from the United States, and slavery remains legal there into modern times.
HBO president Casey Bloys later called the early announcement of Confederate “misguided,“ saying the project should have been introduced with more explanation from the producers on their reasons for wanting to tell the story. A social media campaign was launched with the hashtag #NoConfederate in hopes of getting HBO to drop the project. No further announcement has been made by HBO about the series’ future.
According to a report by The Washington Post (via The Playlist), Benioff and Weiss are not currently actively at work on Confederate. This does not mean the project has been dropped however, as Benioff and Weiss are still very much engaged in producing the final season of Game of Thrones, and may be waiting for their Thrones obligations to be completed before tackling the new project.
Complicating matters for Benioff, Weiss and HBO as they decide whether to press forward with Confederate is the announcement that Amazon will be producing Black America, a similar revisionist history series focused on an alternate version of post-Civil War America. In Black America, freed slaves are given territory across several former Confederate states with which to forge their own nation, which they name New Colonia. Created by Aaron McGruder (The Boondocks) and Will Packer (Straight Outta Compton), Black America will focus on the fraught relationship between New Colonia and its more powerful “brother” country the United States.
Hand-wringing over the future of Confederate mirrors a larger uncertainty over the future of HBO as a whole as the network prepares to enter a post-Game of Thrones world. The network hopes to keep the universe alive by producing a Game of Thrones spinoff show, and have had several teams actively developing ideas, one of which has been graced with George R.R. Martin’s direct participation. But HBO at some point will have to develop new tentpole series to replace Thrones, and clearly were hoping that Benioff and Weiss would be able to deliver another monster hit with their alt-history series.
Confederate may still see the light of day some time in the future, and may even end up being the big hit HBO is hoping for, but its path thus far has been rocky and some of that rockiness is arguably HBO’s own fault.
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