Benioff and Weiss Wanted Final Game of Thrones Seasons to be Movies

You ever see someone screw up royally and try to make themselves look better but end up making it worse? That appears to be the next phase in David Benioff and Dave Weiss’ attempted comeback. In an interview with WSJ, the Wall Street Journal’s magazine (which is behind a paywall, but Deadline paraphrases the relevant information), the pair discuss the final two seasons of Game of Thrones that destroyed what was once one of the most beloved TV series of all time. Try to keep yourself from laughing as Weiss and Benioff attempt to shift the blame to HBO and AT&T:

“Benioff and Weiss also confirm a long-standing rumor that the duo pitched the idea of bringing GoT to a close with three feature films rather than what would eventually come to pass: 13 episodes spread over two seasons… HBO executives rebuffed the idea, reminding the creators that, as Benioff says, they were making a series for ‘Home Box Office’ and not, as Weiss adds, ‘Away Box Office.’”

They also piss and moan about AT&T, which bought HBO around that time, wanting them to film any new series so it would look good on a phone screen, vertically instead of horizontally. They cite this as one of the reasons they left their HBO deal. That seems like something stupid a company like AT&T would say, but I sincerely doubt it’s why they left; it’s not like these guys are sticklers for quality. It seemed pretty obvious they left for the same reasons they fast-tracked Game of Thrones: they thought they were going to make Star Wars movies. The fact that they ended up not getting the Star Wars gig is the only silver lining in this disaster. (And after what they did to Game of Thrones, I doubt HBO fought tooth and nail to keep them.)

But look at what they said about the final seasons. They wanted what was ultimately thirteen hours (probably closer to fourteen or fifteen, as some episodes ran longer than an hour) to be three movies. Put another way, they wanted to do less work, give their half-assed storytelling even less time to breathe, and they think this makes them look good. I don’t know if I hate them more for ruining Game of Thrones or because they insist on insulting everyone’s intelligence five years after the fact. Do they think HBO looks like the bad guy for saying they wanted them to complete the TV show they were hired to produce and release it on the cable network it’s intended to bring viewers to? They really want us to believe they’re Spicoli and HBO is Mr. Hand. But they’re forgetting that we know HBO told them they could have as many seasons and as much money as they wanted. They’re also forgetting that George R.R. Martin said he wanted the show to run for at least ten seasons but preferably thirteen. They’re never going to look like the unsung heroes of this story, and that “kinda forgot” clip is ingrained in everyone’s memory. And now, their “big comeback” is a show for Netflix (which greenlights anything anyone throws at them) about a Chinese sci-fi novel nobody’s heard of but they’re pretending is a modern classic. And that’s not a knock on the book; maybe it’s great. But if Benioff and Weiss are in charge of the adaptation, the author had better hope people buy their copies now.

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