Game of Thrones Could Have Ended in a Film Trilogy… or Filmed Vertically, Both Terrifying Options


Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss sat down for a profile with The Wall Street Journal recently (in no doubt to promote their next project, Netflix’s adaptation of Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem trilogy). During that interview, the two confirmed what has long been rumored: Benioff and Weiss wanted to end Game of Thrones with a film trilogy meant to premiere in theaters. Instead we got the two final seasons, thirteen episodes total, of questionable television.

The movie idea was axed by AT&T, the corporation that owned HBO at the time, and the execs reportedly asked Benioff and Weiss if they could shoot episodes vertically so people could easily watch on their phones. And to add insult to injury, the phone conglomerate also expressed interest in what The Wall Street Journal described as “snackable mini-episodes.”

The idea of shooting a show like Game of Thrones vertically is, frankly, horrifying. Benioff and Weiss were similarly horrified. “Dysfunction kills more projects than anything else, whether it’s interpersonal dysfunction or institutional dysfunction,” Weiss told The Wall Street Journal.

The two promptly moved over to Netflix after Game of Thrones ended, in part because they wanted to avoid similar discussions in the future. “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 said. “Finding the smoothest ride in the ocean was key.” 

We’ll never know if the three-movie ending that Benioff and Weiss envisioned would have resulted in a better ending for Game of Thrones, something that is an admittedly low bar. That opportunity, however, has long since passed. We’ll have more Benioff and Weiss television in our faces soon, however, as 3 Body Problem comes out on Netflix on March 21, 2024. icon-paragraph-end

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