Martin Luther King Jr. Day came early when it was announced that HBO had finally, finally, officially canceled Confederate, the planned series set in an alternate universe where the South had won the Civil War, from Game of Thrones TV series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
The news came from TV Line last night that “HBO president Casey Bloys officially confirms to TVLine that the pair’s long-gestating, controversial slavery drama Confederate will not be moving forward.” Ever since the series was announced, it had been a sea of controversy about the subject matter and the fact that the two creators, Benioff and Weiss, have a terrible track record when it comes to handling race on television.
Still, this choice is probably not about the subject matter of the show but more the fact that the two creators have a bunch of responsibilities that make them unable to fully commit to HBO. Let’s not forget that these two have a huge deal with Netflix and already left Star Wars behind in a sea of messiness that just seems typical for them and Lucasfilm.
Personally, I’m glad to see that this show won’t happen because that clears up some space in the budget for Watchmen to possibly get a second season, or to give a bigger budget to some of HBO’s smaller shows, like Insecure and Curb. Watchmen ended up being the anti-Confederate, which proved a very well-received counter narrative. Not only did it make racists mad, but it had the amazing ability to fuse Black contemporary issues, Black history, and the rich narrative of Alan Moore’s Watchmen all together with a lovely sprinkling of Regina King being the coolest.
HBO’s president of programming, Casey Bloys, has already said to Deadline that the only thing standing between the show and a second season is waiting to see what creator Damon Lindelof wants to do.
“It is really up to Damon at this point, he is thinking about what he wants to do. Truly, I don’t know at this point whether it is a returning drama series or a limited series. I think one of the things Damon did so brilliantly was, he opened up this entire world. So maybe there is another version with a whole new set of characters. I don’t know because Damon doesn’t know, and I’m taking his lead on this.”
Bloys added, “If it’s a season two — great, if it’s a new take on the world — great, if it’s something else completely, I’m just going take his lead.”
Agreed. HBO has been trying to fill the post-Game of Thrones void as best it can, and with Netflix’s The Witcher getting its own hype while His Dark Materials is not really hitting audiences the way it could, I’m sure that it won’t be long until some huge book adaptation with half a Marvel cast comes to the network. We shall see.
(via TV Line, image: VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
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