×

Field Narrows as ‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Benioff and Weiss Seek Overall Deal

As “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss shop an overall global deal around town, the field has narrowed to Netflix, Amazon and Disney, sources tell Variety.

Earlier chatter pointed to rival players such as Comcast-owned NBCUniversal and HBO parent WarnerMedia also jockeying for a chance to ink an agreement with the showrunners, one that would span film, television and other platforms.

But it now appears that the two streamers and Disney are the major contenders for the duo’s future efforts.

Benioff and Weiss have already formed ties to Disney, and are currently working on a lucrative piece of intellectual property, developing an untitled “Star Wars” movie that’s set to debut in theaters in 2022.

That will be the first of several new “Star Wars” films the pair have signed on to write and produce with Disney’s Lucasfilm. It is no doubt a time-consuming feat, and one likely to be a consideration for any studio mulling a pact with the creative pair, who will have their hands full for an indeterminate amount of time.

Sources tell Variety Apple was at one point interested in the pair’s business, but is no longer considered a major contender. Representatives for it and the other studios mentioned declined to comment.

Regardless of the divisive series finale, the final season of “Game of Thrones” earned a record 32 Emmy nominations last week, pushing up HBO’s total to 137 and helping the network to retake the lead over Netflix, which procured 117 noms this year. The show’s series finale brought in 19.3 million viewers.

Benioff and Weiss aren’t the only creators out looking to strike a massive new deal. J.J. Abrams is said to be nearing the finish line as WarnerMedia outpaces the pack in the race for his business. In recent years, Netflix has inked overall deals with Jenji Kohan, Shonda Rhimes, Ryan Murphy and Kenya Barris. Amazon Studios has first-look deals with Jordan Peele, Nicole Kidman, John Krasinski, Barry Jenkins and Rachel Brosnahan, and has overall deals with creators including Neil Gaiman and Glenn Kessler.

Amazon has previously forged ties to other creatives in the “Game of Thrones” universe. Bryan Cogman, the writer and co-executive producer on “Game of Thrones” who worked closely alongside Benioff and Weiss, in September signed an overall deal with Amazon. He is currently consulting on the forthcoming “Lord of the Rings” series at the streamer.

HBO programming chief Casey Bloys told Variety at the Television Critics Association press tour on Wednesday that the pair was among the best he’s worked with.

“I think wherever they end up, they’ll be lucky to have them,”  said Bloys. “They’re some of the best showrunners I’ve ever worked with, and in this talent marketplace, I think everybody should go and get whatever they can. Who knows how long this market will last, so everybody’s gotta go out and get paid.”

More TV

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring

    TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring Helen Mirren

    For some, “Dame Helen Mirren playing the Catherine the Great” is all the convincing they’ll need to watch this new biographical limited series, which is perfectly understandable. The casting of Mirren in the role, which follows the Russian empress in the embattled latter years of her life, is a smart choice that proves its worth [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Science Fair

    Disney Plus Fleshes Out Nonfiction Slate, Including 'Howard,' 'Science Fair,' Mickey Mouse Docu

    Disney Plus further fleshed out its nonfiction content slate at an International Documentary Association showcase event Friday, as the streamer, preparing for its Nov. 12 launch, continues to flesh out its programming strategy. Among the announcements: The streamer has acquired the global distribution rights to “Howard,” the Don Hahn-directed documentary about “Aladdin” and “Beauty and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content