HBO announces Confederate, an alternate history drama from Game of Thrones' Benioff and Weiss

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Jul 19, 2017, 5:17 PM EDT

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the two writers who created Game of Thrones for televsion and have remained its steadfast creative guides, still have at least a year of work to do on their hit HBO fantasy series. With Season 7 now underway, though, Benioff and Weiss have begun looking to their future, and it turns out they will indeed by sticking with HBO for a new television venture. Benioff and Weiss' next project will be Confederate, an alternate history drama they've been developing in some form for years. They will serve as both writers and showrunners once again. 

Here's how the network described the series in a press release Wednesday:

"Confederate chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall."

That sound appropriate ambitious for Benioff and Weiss, and certainly in keeping with the broad scope and moral ambiguity they've cultivated on Game of Thrones over the last six years. It's hard to imagine Confederate having quite the same impact as its predecessor, but this will definitely be a must-see drama when it finally premieres. If done right, it could rival Westworld in terms of storytelling complexity.

“We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film,” add Benioff and Weiss. “But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO. There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series, but we are creating a world, and we couldn’t imagine better partners in world-building than [producers and writers Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman], who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills.”

Confederate still has no release date, but this is huge news for HBO and for Benioff and Weiss.

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