Netflix Gives Nine-Figure Deal to Game of Thrones Showrunners David Benihoff and D.B. Weiss

author img
BY August 8, 2019

With the streaming wars in full force, major outlets are looking to sign showrunners to massive deals. This ensures they have a steady stream (pun intended) of new content from the biggest names in show business. Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are the latest recruits, winning a nine-figure deal from Netflix, according to Deadline. The trade didn’t get specific figures. But their sources tell them that it was likely somewhere in the range of Shonda Rimes’s $150 million and Ryan Murphy’s $300 million deal with the streamer. THR reports that the deal amounted to $200 million, overall. The Game of Thrones showrunners will leave HBO and create content for Netflix for the multiyear contract.

In a statement, Netflix said:

“We are thrilled to welcome master storytellers David Benioff and Dan Weiss to Netflix. 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.”

The Game of Thrones showrunners offered up their own 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.”

Are The Game of Thrones Showrunners Really Worth This Investment?

Feelings about the final season of the show aside, it was a cultural sensation. But we call Benioff and Weiss the Game of Thrones showrunners because that’s really all they’ve done. They tried to develop a new series at HBO. The idea centered on an alternate universe where the Confederacy won the Civil War. After universal derision, the show halted development. Since then, it seemed like Weiss and Benioff just wanted to be done. It felt like they were over both Game of Thrones and HBO. (Though HBO reportedly is still working on that show, which appears to be a carbon copy of the plot to Ben Winters’s 2016 novel Underground Airlines.)

Still, with so few original ideas of theirs that came to fruition, one has to question the wisdom of Netflix dumping money on the Game of Thrones showrunners. Their next big project is a purported trilogy of Star Wars films, the first of which is slated to arrive in 2022. If that film is a success, and Star Wars fans are harsh and fickle creatures, it will mean their two most successful projects will be adaptations. The value of signing these creators is that they bring their ideas for original content, that Netflix will then own, to the platform. Despite their awards recognition for Game of Thrones, D&D haven’t really proven themselves in terms of realizing original story ideas. It’s a big gamble for Netflix, and one that may not pay off.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

TV Shows

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment

Related

Pop CultureTV Shows
15th Anniversary of LOST: Remembering the Show That Changed How We Watched TV Forever

On September 22, 2004 a plane fell out of the sky onto a strange island in the South Pacific packed with mysteries, ghosts, and a smoke monster. On the 15th anniversary of LOST, we at Comic Years are looking back at the genre-bending television show that changed the way we watch television. Serialized television was […]

BY Joshua M. Patton September 24, 2019
COMICSTV Shows
We’re Finally Getting A Green Lantern Series From Greg Berlanti At HBO Max

After a disastrous first live-action movie, and numerous attempts, a Green Lantern series may finally be coming on HBO Max!

BY Shah Shahid October 30, 2019
TV Shows
Amazon Renewed Lord of the Rings Prequel Series for Season 2 Before Filming Even Started

In news that comes as shock to literally no one, Amazon renewed the Lord of the Rings prequel series on its streaming service. What is remarkable about this move, however, is that the first season hasn’t even begun filming yet. Just like Peter Jackson’s iconic film series set in Middle Earth, it seems that the […]

BY Joshua M. Patton November 19, 2019
Star Wars Battlefront 2 Celebration Edition is Jam Packed with Content

There’s nothing like a good redemption story. We see it all the time in comic books. A villain suddenly sees the error of their ways, turns good, and we love them for it. We don’t see it as much with video games, and no, I don’t mean characters. If a game is cast aside as […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 4, 2019
Super Mario Maker 2 Update – What’s New?

When it comes to popular Nintendo Switch games, Super Mario Maker 2 has been huge. The game is still seeing a ton of players daily, months after its release. The developers at Nintendo working on the game are ready to send more content to the game as well. In an update coming on December 5th, […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 2, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure Shortage in Japan Sparks Apology from Nintendo

It seemed a little like a joke at first, but Ring Fit Adventure is a hit. The Nintendo published fitness game for the Switch is huge all over the world. Of course, Japan took to the game quite fondly. Even here in the United States, people are really into this game. Essentially, you track movements and […]

BY Taylor Bauer December 1, 2019
RuneScape Glitch Almost Destroyed the In-Game Economy

RuneScape is a historic MMORPG with a fervent player base to this very day. For nearly 18 years, the game has brought 200 million accounts into its fantasy world. For a lot of people, a few hours on RuneScape is a part of the normal daily routine. There is a new version of the game, […]

BY Taylor Bauer November 27, 2019

Trending

Rene Auberjonois Has Died at 79: Beloved Character Actor Played Hundreds of Roles

Rene Auberjonois, a character actor who appeared in so many things I couldn’t sum them up in one headline, has died at the age of 79. Whether you knew him from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, his voice work, or works even older than that, there’s a good chance that he has touched your life. […]

BY Salomé Gonstad December 9, 2019
Kevin Feige Shows Eternals Footage at CCXP and Says the Film Will Redefine the MCU

The Brazilian comic-con, known as CCXP, is one that rivals the San Diego Comic-Con in terms of scope and fan passion. So, when Marvel announced its presence there, fans knew they were in for something special. What they got was Kevin Feige and some footage from Eternals exclusive to CCXP. We don’t have a clip […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019
Watchmen on HBO Dedicated Penultimate Episode to Dr. Manhattan to Tell It’s Most LOST-Like Story Yet

One of the key hallmarks of Damon Lindelof’s breakout show LOST was the non-linear narrative featured in many of the episodes. Divided into “present-day” stories and “flashbacks,” these disparate narratives combined to tell a story that couldn’t be told without them both. In the first episode of Watchmen on HBO to feature Dr. Manhattan, the […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 9, 2019
Crisis On Infinite Earths Hour 1 Review: A Whirlwind of End of the World Action

The opening moments of Hour 1 of CW’s Crisis On Infinite Earths featured a handful of amazing cameos and a short explanation of what the multiverse is. We saw Robert Wuhl on Earth-89, where Tim Burton’s Batman is still kicking ass, apparently. There are short glimpses of the cast of Titans, though it’s likely recycled […]

BY Joshua M. Patton December 8, 2019