‘Game of Thrones’ Bosses Confirm Film Trilogy Ending Got Blocked; AT&T Execs Asked Them to Shoot Vertically So Episodes Could Fit on Phones

‘Game of Thrones’ Bosses Confirm Film Trilogy Ending Got Blocked; AT&T Execs Asked Them to Shoot Vertically So Episodes Could Fit on Phones

Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin first mentioned back in 2020 that there was once a plan to end the HBO series with a film trilogy designed for movie theaters instead of just another normal season of television. In a new Wall Street Journal profile, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss confirmed this was actually their original plan for ending the HBO mega-hit. They wanted three movies instead of spreading the final 13 episodes across two seasons.

Why did this original plan get scrapped? Benioff said network executives were not interested in bringing “Thrones” to theaters. He remembered being reminded that HBO stands for “Home Box Office” and not “Away Box Office.”

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Having that kind of format flexibility is something Benioff and D.B. Weiss have always wanted, which is one reason they jumped to Netflix after “Thrones” came to an end on HBO. The duo has spent the last several years bringing “3 Body Problem” to life, and it will finally debut next month on the streaming giant. The duo told the WSJ that Netflix was also appealing when finding a home for a new multi-year deal because they didn’t want to partner with wobbly parent companies.

As the WSJ reports: “Benioff and Weiss, who have been friends since grad school, weren’t crazy about HBO’s then-owners, AT&T, whose executives once asked whether ‘Game of Thrones’ could be shot vertically so it would fit on your phone. The company also openly discussed the idea of snackable mini-episodes of the series.”

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

“When you sign a five-year deal with a company, 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,” Benioff added. “Finding the smoothest ride in the ocean was key.”

With Netflix’s “3 Body Problem,” the showrunner duo is once again risking it all with a big budget to bring a beloved novel to life.

“There’s definitely pressure, but then again, when ‘Thrones’ was coming out, I remember having insomnia and being terrified,” Benioff said. “It’s nerve-racking when it’s your first big thing, and it’s nerve-racking when you’ve been at it for awhile and people are like, ‘Well, do they still have it?’”

“3 Body Problem” streams March 21 on Netflix. Head over to the Wall Street Journal’s website to read Benioff and Weiss’ latest profile.