‘Game Of Thrones’ Creators David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Open Up About Their Split From HBO, And Confirm Longstanding Rumor About That Finale

Forget widescreen: Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss say HBO’s one-time owner AT&T actually requested the series be shot vertically so it could be watched on cell phones.

In a new article in Wall St. Journal‘s WSJ Magazine to promote their upcoming Netflix series 3 Body Problem, Benioff and Weiss open up about why they ditched their longtime perch at HBO for the streaming service.

More from Deadline

“When you sign a five-year deal with a company,” Benioff says, “you want that company to be stable so you can be left alone to do your work and not have to worry about it being bought by the phone company.” The pair left HBO for Netflix just several months after the Game of Thrones 2019 series finale in what WSJ estimates was a deal worth between $200 million and $300 million.

Other disagreements with AT&T included execs’ proposal of shooting “snackable mini-episodes” of the epic series.

“Dysfunction kills more projects than anything else,” Weiss tells the magazine, “whether it’s interpersonal
dysfunction or institutional dysfunction.”

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.”

3 Body Problem is thought to be one of Netflix’s most expensive projects ever, with WSJ estimating the per-episode cost “in the $20 million range.” Based on a popular science fiction book series by Chinese author Liu Cixin, the series, which debuts this spring and is the first Benioff-Weiss collaboration with third showrunner Alexander Woo, chronicles “a slow-moving alien invasion of Earth.”

Says Benioff, “One of the things that attracted us to this was how terrifying it was to contemplate adapting these books, because they’re so vast.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.