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Television

‘Game of Thrones’ creators sign deal with Netflix

David Benioff, left, and D.B. Weiss
David Benioff, left, and D.B. Weiss attend the premiere of the final season of “Game of Thrones” at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/AP)

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of HBO’s fantasy epic “Game of Thrones,” have signed a multiyear production deal with Netflix.

The deal, which was announced Wednesday and would have Benioff and Weiss write, produce and direct new series and films exclusively at Netflix, follows an intense bidding war for the duo among media heavyweights that included Amazon, Disney and HBO’s WarnerMedia.

In a statement, Netflix’s chief content officer Ted Sarandos touted Benioff and Weiss as “master storytellers.”

“They are a creative force and have delighted audiences worldwide with their epic storytelling,” Sarandos said in his statement. “We can’t wait to see what their imaginations bring to our members.”

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Benioff and Weiss are the latest A-list writers-producers to defect to Netflix, following Shonda Rhimes and Kenya Barris, who both left ABC, and Ryan Murphy, who was lured away from Fox.

In a joint statement, Benioff and Weiss expressed gratitude for their time at HBO, where “Game of Thrones” served as a tentpole series during its eight-season run — scoring a record 32 Emmy nominations this year despite a divisive final season. “We’re grateful to everyone there for always making us feel at home.”

The fantasy’s epic final season adds an Emmy feather to its cap with a record-breaking 32 nominations. And deservedly so.

Their controversial alternate-history drama for HBO, “Confederate,” would seem to be all but dead at the premium cable channel. HBO did not have any comment about the status of the project, but president of programming Casey Bloys recently told Deadline it would be unlikely that projects Weiss and Benioff developed at the network would proceed if they signed a deal elsewhere.

A shared creative sensibility with the team at Netflix won the pair over, according to their statement.

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“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,” the statement read, referring to top brass at the streamer. “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’ve invited us to join them.”

Benioff and Weiss have other, previously announced projects already keeping them busy since “Game of Thrones” wrapped, including creating, writing and producing one of the next “Star Wars” trilogies and adapting the prison-break feature “Dirty White Boys” for 20th Century Fox. HBO is developing a number of “Thrones” spinoffs to help fill the dragon-sized void left by the blockbuster drama, but Benioff and Weiss are not involved in those productions.

Times staff writer Meredith Blake contributed to this report.


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