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'Game of Thrones' showrunners reveal their next big HBO show - but there's already a huge backlash

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We might have only just got into the penultimate season of Game of Thrones, but showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have just announced their next HBO TV project.

Once again the pair will be tasked with building a world, but this one will be an alternative universe version of Earth, rather than total fantasy.

The show will be called Confederate, and chronicle “the events leading to the Third American Civil War”.

The description continues: “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.”

Benioff and Weiss said in a joint statement: “We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film, but our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO.”

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Benioff and Weiss at the 2016 Emmys in LA

The pair will be showrunners on the new project, just as they are on Game of Thrones, and will be joined by GoT executive producers Carolyn Strauss and Bernadette Caulfield, as well as  Nichelle Tramble Spellman (Justified) and Malcolm Spellman (Empire).

“There won’t be dragons or White Walkers in this series, but we are creating a world, and we couldn’t imagine better partners in world-building than Nichelle and Malcolm, who have impressed us for a long time with their wit, their imagination and their Scrabble-playing skills,” Benioff and Weiss added.

HBO will need a big show to fill the void once Game of Thrones finished, either in late 2018 or early 2019, and it would make sense that Benioff and Weiss are the people to fill it – however, there has already been a backlash to the premise of the show, given it is a show about slavery being made by white men.

A lot of people of Twitter have been expressing concern about the project.

HBO Programming President Casey Bloys said: “As the brilliant Game of Thrones winds down to its final season, we are thrilled to be able to continue our relationship with Dan and David, knowing that any subject they take on will result in a unique and ambitious series. Their intelligent, wry and visually stunning approach to storytelling has a way of engaging an audience and taking them on an unforgettable journey.”

Production on Confederate will begin once Game of Thrones’ final season is over, so expect it to hit our screens some time around 2020.

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