It seems like forever ago, though only months have elapsed since HBO announced its controversial choice to enable Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss’ modern slavery drama, Confederate. Development understandably took a backseat to production of the final Game of Thrones season, but a new report may reveal “the creators are not actively working on it” anymore.

July saw the official announcement that Benioff and Weiss had in mind to develop a new alternate-history drama based on slavery surviving the Civil War into modern-day, though the network faced widespread backlash for its initial development, let alone premise. Both HBO and co-creators Nichelle Tramble Spellman and Malcolm Spellman have since tried to mitigate the drama’s modern relevance, even amid white supremacist protests and domestic terrorism in Charlottesville, Virginia. All the same, a recent Washington Post report on HBO’s post-Game of Thrones future has produced a curious quote:

Though the show is still in development, the creators are not actively working on it, a person familiar with the process said.

There are a few items to unpack here. Many have taken the quote to suggest that HBO reconsidered its Confederate order in the wake of public outcry; specifically the “#NoConfederate” hashtag and movement that trended through Game of Thrones Season 7, and multiple occasions thereafter. Then again, both Benioff and Weiss previously stated that Confederate was developed as a feature film prior to its series order, and wouldn’t begin serious pre-production until after Game of Thrones’ final season wrapped, so there’s little reason to expect the duo would be “actively working on it” until at least 2019.

We reached out to HBO for clarification on Confederate’s status, who offered “The four showrunners are working on different projects and won’t be able to focus on this new project for a while, maybe 18 months.” Stay tuned for the latest in the meantime.

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