With Game of Thrones winding up after the next season, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are hard at work planning their next show - and it just got the green light from HBO.
Entitled Confederate, the show sounds jaw-droppingly bold, with HBO programming president Casey Bloys describing it as "a unique and ambitious series," and Variety describing it thus:
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.
"Unique and ambitious" is right. A show tackling notions of race and slavery in today's political climate feels exciting and potentially even dangerous, especially for showrunners with Benioff and Weiss' reputation for envelope-pushing. Luckily, the show will be co-written by Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman, writer-producers on The Good Wife and Empire, respectively, who also happen to be people of colour. I feel like that's pretty important on a project like this.
The concept is a curious one, given its similarity (in concept, at least) to mockumentary CSA: The Confederate States of America. That film examined a similar alternate timeline (though one where the Confederacy won the Civil War outright) through the lens of a faux BBC documentary; it also made a number of salient points about the many elements of slavery culture that persist to this day. Hopefully Confederate will be similarly (or even more) on-point with its messaging. It either will, or it'll be a complete disaster. Exciting!
Production on Confederate will begin after Game of Thrones winds up - so likely in 2019, after the impeachment of borderline actual Confederate Donald Trump. (We can dream.)