It only took three successful seasons and a series renewal through Season 6 for the showrunners of “Game of Thrones” to try a different project. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have closed a deal to direct, write and produce an adaptation of Stephen Hunter’s novel “Dirty White Boys” for the big screen.
Surprisingly enough, “Dirty White Boys” has nothing to do with fantasy, but it does seem to contain characters as complex and divisive as “Game of Thrones.” The story is about three violent convicts who escape prison and the lawman who has to track them down.
According to an interview Benioff and Weiss did with Deadline
, they only heard about “Dirty White Boys” relatively recently when their friend, screenwriter/director Scott Frank, said the novel had one of the best opening lines ever. The first line of the novel reads: “Three men at McAlester State Penitentiary had larger penises than Lamar Pye, but all were black and therefore, by Lamar’s own figuring, hardly human at all.”
“You have to fall in love with these characters,” Benioff tells Deadline. The book has been compared to “No Country for Old Men,” but while Benioff says he loved both Cormac McCarthy’s novel and the Coen brothers’ adaptation of it, “that villain is the devil incarnate. Here, the villains do horrible things, but you feel for them. For Dan and I, we started writing ‘Game Of Thrones’ in 2006, and this book could not be more different, a contemporary thriller, but the characters are so well drawn that you become attached to them, good or bad, and you want to follow them.”
Weiss says they almost had not choice but to do the adaptation. “After Scott recommended it, the book sinks its claws into you, and you’re stuck,” he says. “You have to let it take you where it’s going to take you, and we look forward to seeing where this one is going to take us.”
It’s unclear what the timeline on this project is, but neither man has started writing yet. They at least have a few more months off until “Game of Thrones” Season 5 starts filming, but chances are they won’t get an opportunity to direct the flick until the break between Seasons 5 and 6.
It will be interesting to see if they bring any of their current or former “Game of Thrones” actors to the project with them. Fingers crossed for Sean Bean.
“Game of Thrones” Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.