Despite the online protests that have surrounded Confederate since it was first announced, HBO president Casey Bloys insists the show's slow progress is due solely to creators David Benioff & D.B. Weiss' Star Wars commitments. The series, based on an alternate history in which the South won the Civil War, stirred up a great deal of backlash when it was ordered to series in July of 2017 - yet the network and creators have remained firm in their decision to proceed with its greenlighting.
Placing Confederate on hold seemed inevitable when the dynamic duo of Benioff & Weiss were chosen to spearhead their own series of Star Wars movies last year, but the news was confirmed last year. In order to devote their full attention to a galaxy far, far away, the Game of Thrones producers were postponing their Civil War-inspired series indefinitely. Despite the reason given, many fans wondered if this was perhaps HBO's way of slowly backing away from a hot-button issue and letting another project take the blame.
As a response to these inquiries, Bloys assured TVLine that the long-standing controversy was by no means related to the current hiatus. “Dan and David are finishing up the final season [of Game of Thrones] and then they are going to go into the Star Wars universe. When they come out of that, I assume they will come back to us.” This is already different from what was previously reported back in July, which was that the film deal would not make a difference in terms of the show.
No word was given on whether the rest of the creative team - including two African-American producers and writers, Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman - would also come back after the films wrapped. Tramble Spellman is currently busy with the crime drama Are You Sleeping? for Apple while Spellman will be serving as executive producer on the as-yet untitled Falcon and Winter Soldier series for Disney's streaming service, so it doesn't seem likely. But then again, it could be years before HBO gets Benioff and Weiss back from the Dark Side.
As much as Bloys may be trying to quiet down any rumors, insisting "the delay has to do with [the fact] that they were offered three movies,” the general consensus is that everyone will be better off if Confederate does not come to fruition. While shows such as Insatiable on Netflix have thrived precisely because of the passionate outrage they inspired, boycotts and bad reviews are more often the outcome for series with themes that are viewed as disrespectful. Besides, ever since HBO itself called the early announcement of the show 'misguided,' it seemed clear that those involved would rather be less so.
It's not that creators should shy away from exploring the horrors of American history, but rather that they should be cautious and thorough in their approach to it. Until HBO has a clear and concise message about slavery or race relations that they know a creative team with experience in that subject can handle, it's perfectly fine to let Benioff and Weiss live out their childhood dreams of bringing new corners of the Star Wars universe to life. And in the meantime, the rest of the world can wait with bated breath for the final Game of Thrones showdown in April.
We'll keep you updated on Confederate as more information becomes available.