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Game of Thrones' D.B. Weiss on not returning for spinoffs, new Netflix series 'Three-Body Problem'

"It just felt like, for us, it was time to move on and get excited and terrified about building something else."

By Josh Weiss
Daniel Weiss GETTY

Similar to its approach with Matt Reeves' The Batman, HBO is going all in with regards to the Game of Thrones universe. Several prequel spinoffs are currently in development with one of them — the Targaryen-focused House of the Dragon — on course to premiere later this year. While George R.R. Martin and other Thrones veterans (like director/producer Miguel Sapochnik) are involved, none of the branching projects have the participation of the two dudes who kicked off television's fantasy boom: D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Recently speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Weiss explained his and Benioff's decision not to return to Westeros.

"All in, we were 11 years, probably, doing that show. When I say 11 years, it was full on, all in, all day, every day for 11 years," he said. "It was the best decade of our lives. It still kind of feels a bit like a dream, but we got to a place where it was pretty clear to us that we had reached the end of what made sense for us to be involved with in that world that we lived. It just felt like, for us, it was time to move on and get excited and terrified about building something else — building lots of something elses."

Beyond their desire to blaze new territory, the creators are also busy at Netflix, where they signed a massive $200 million first-look deal back in 2019. One of their first streaming efforts, a TV adaptation of Liu Cixin's The Three-Body Problem novels, could end up rivaling the scope (and price tag) of GOT. Weiss teased the show as being "very different from Game of Thrones but in the same general zone."

He continued: "It's like a science-fiction show that is painted on a very large canvas of space and time. It's as visual effects heavy as Thrones was, and it pushes a lot of the same buttons in many ways that Thrones pushed — and doesn't push others in many ways."

Comprised of The Three-Body ProblemThe Dark Forest, and Death's End, Cixin's acclaimed literary trilogy tells an epic story about humanity's first contact with an alien civilization. The narrative kicks off in the 1960s and runs through the literal end of time.

Showrun by Alexander Woo (True BloodThe Terror), the project boasts a number of high-profile producers — not only Weiss and Benioff, but also Rian Johnson (Star Wars: The Last Jedi), Brad Pitt (Bullet Train), and Rosamund Pike (The Wheel of Time). 

Benedict Wong (Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness), Tsai Chin (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings), John Bradley (Samwell Tarley in Thrones) and Liam Cunningham (Ser Davos Seaworth), Jovan Adepo (The Stand), Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver), Jess Hong (Inked: The Brokenwood Mysteries), Marlo Kelly (Dare Me), Alex Sharp (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), Sea Shimooka (Arrow), Zine Tseng, and Saamer Usmani (The Mauritanian) are attached to star.