Thus far it has been smooth sailing for the premiere of the seventh and penultimate season of the HBO fantasy series “Game of Thrones." Already signs of the end are coming for the show, which was developed by writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. While the network has expressed interest in the conceptualization of several spin-off series to “Game of Thrones,” Benioff and Weiss have another iron in the fire. Their next planned project “Confederate," originally thought up as a feature film, will now be pursued as a new series on HBO. Its highly controversial premise is a modern-day alternate universe that sprung from a Southern victory in the American Civil War of the 1860s.

Civil War alternate universe

HBO has given the green light for Emmy Award-winning creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff to begin work on developing “Confederate” straight to series. The new show, announced by the network on Wednesday, July 19, will likely begin full production after “Game of Thrones," completes its eighth and final season on 2018 or 2019. D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are both showrunners for the series. “Confederate” is set in a world where the slaveholding southern U.S. states successfully seceded from the north to form its own nation, the Confederate States of America.

As “Confederate” begins according to Benioff and Weiss (called D&D by the “Game of Thrones” fandom), the Confederacy, which has managed to remain independent and preserve its institution of slavery to modern times, is on the verge of clashing with the U.S.

in a “Third American Civil War.” Most of the narrative is said to take place on locations in and around the “Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone.” The coming conflict will be seen through the eyes of multiple viewpoint characters: USA and CSA politicians, resistance fighters, abolitionists, slave-catchers, journalists, the upper echelons of a Southern slave-holding mega-corporation and their slaves.

‘Thrones’ reunion

In a way, “Confederate” seems to be what many of the prime movers from “Game of Thrones” will be moving over to after they complete the aforementioned series. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be writing and serving as show-runners, along with “Thrones” executive producers Carolyn Strauss and Bernadette Caulfield.

Joining them in executively producing “Confederate” are Nichelle Tramble Spellman (“Justified”) and Malcolm Spellman (“Empire”).

Once “Game of Thrones” ends in the next year or two, HBO will be hard-pressed to find a replacement for their most popular drama series ever. It is hoped that “Confederate” along with “Westworld” and the September premiering of “The Deuce” will maintain the cable network’s lineup of drama programming in the future.