Benioff and Weiss Netflix

Update: THR reports that Benioff and Weiss have signed a $200 million dollar, multi-year deal. Deadline’s initial reports simply said it was a “nine-figure” deal, but this is now one of the biggest TV deals in history.

Second Update, 8/15/19: THR now reports that the deal is for five years and is worth $250 million. Our original story continues below.

High demand in the Peak TV era means that content creators are pulling in hugely lucrative deals like never before. People like Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy, Mike Schur, and Greg Berlanti have all signed massive nine-figure deals recently to produce content for various companies, and now Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are grabbing a piece of that pie as well. The duo has just signed a $100 million+ exclusive deal with Netflix, and you can read the details of that and find out what other projects they have brewing below.

Deadline reports that Netflix beat out competitors like Apple, WarnerMedia, Disney, Comcast, and Amazon, with Amazon and Disney being the two closest contenders. “We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix,” said Ted Sarandos, the company’s chief content officer. “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.”

Benioff and Weiss released a joint statement:

“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.”

Deadline says their deal is in the nine-figure range, similar to recent deals signed by people like Phil Lord and Chris Miller at Sony Television and Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy at Amazon.

Benioff and Weiss are clearly best known for their work on HBO’s Game of Thrones, but they’ve also been hired to write and direct films set in a galaxy far, far away: they’re tackling a new batch of Star Wars films for Disney and Lucasfilm. Plus, Deadline says they wrote a Kurt Cobain project for Universal about the Nirvana frontman, and they’re “posed [sic] to adapt the prison break tale Dirty White Boys for Fox/Disney.” They’re going to be very busy for the foreseeable future. (And yes, this probably means that their controversial would-be HBO series Confederate has been completely scrapped.)

And while it seems impossible to recapture the same zeitgeist-y phenomenon that Game of Thrones was in a follow-up TV series, I’m most curious to see if the show that they end up making for Netflix makes as much of a cultural impact if it’s streaming all at once instead of laid out week by week. Will their name recognition be enough to get people’s attention, or will their new project(s) slip through the Netflix algorithm cracks like so many other things?

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