David Benioff is an American TV producer, screenwriter, and novelist, who is best known as the co-creator of the television show – ”Game of Thrones.”
He was born on September 25, 1970, in NYC, New York, USA as David Friedman.
“Benioff” comes from his maternal grandfather – Shim Benioff.
David is the son of Stephen Friedman, who was an advisor to President George W. and an executive with Goldman Sachs.
During high school, he was on the wrestling team.
He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1992. David majored in English and wrote an honor’s thesis.
After graduating from college, Benioff worked as a club bouncer in San Francisco for a time.
David also worked as a radio DJ. For two years, Benioff was an English teacher at Poly Prep high school in Brooklyn.
In 1995, he went to Trinity College Dublin, for a 1-year program to study Irish literature. While at Trinity College Dublin, David met American television producer D. B. Weiss, who would later become his collaborator in Game of Thrones and other projects.
David became a high school English teacher. While working as a high school English teacher, Benioff wrote the book titled – ”The 25th Hour.” In 2001, a film was released after the book, directed by Spike Lee and starring Edward Norton.
In 2004, Benioff drafted a screenplay of the mythological epic Troy, for which Warner Bros. pictures paid him about $2.5 million.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
In the same year, David was hired to write the screenplay for the X-Men spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fourth installment of the X-Men film series. It was released worldwide on May 1, 2009, by 20th Century Fox. The film grossed more than $373 million worldwide and over $179 million in Canada and the US.
In 2005, David wrote the script for the psychological thriller Stay. The stars of the movie include Bob Hoskins, Ryan Gosling, Naomi Watts, and Ewan McGregor. It was directed by Marc Forster.
In October 2007, he was hired by Universal Pictures to write an adapted screenplay of the Charles R. Cross biography of Kurt Cobain.
Game of Thrones
GoT is an American fantasy drama TV series which is based on the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R.R. Martin. It was produced by the HBO cable network.
After eight seasons spanning 73 episodes, HBO has spent around $1,460,600,000 to bring George R.R. Martin’s vision to the screen. According to the data, GoT Season Eight has brought in an average of $88 million dollars per episode from HBO subscriptions.
D.B. Weiss and Benioff have written most of the episodes of the GoT series. Starting with the 3rd season, David also co-directed several episodes of the TV series.
On July 19, 2017, David announced that he and D.B. Weiss are going to begin production on another HBO series, titled Confederate, after the final season of GoT.
“We have discussed Confederate for years, originally as a concept for a feature film.”
David went on to say:
”But our experience on Thrones has convinced us that no one provides a bigger, better storytelling canvas than HBO.”
In August 2019, it was announced that D.B. Weiss and David had closed a deal with Netflix. Additionally, it was reported that the deal “wipes Confederate off HBO’s books.”
In May 2019, Bob Iger, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company, said that Weiss and Benioff are working on the new “Star Wars” film, which is expected in theaters on December 2022.
Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, declared:
“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today.”
Later, it was announced that Weiss and Benioff exited their contract to produce the new Star Wars film due to their commitments to Netflix.
On September 26, 2012, he co-authored a book titled – ”Inside HBO’s Game of Thrones: Seasons 1 & 2.”
The book has hundreds of storyboards, production and costume designs, photos, and insider stories that reveal how the Game of Thrones’ creators translated George R. R. Martin’s fantasy series into the world of Westeros.
On July 22, 2005, David Benioff got engaged to Amanda Peet, an American actress who appeared in a variety of films, including:
- The Way, Way Back (2013);
- 2012 (2009);
- The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008);
- Syriana (2005);
- Identity (2003);
- Something’s Gotta Give (2003);
- The Whole Nine Yards (2000).
Benioff married Amanda Peet on September 30, 2006.
In 2015, Amanda was interviewed on the late-night talk show – ”Jimmy Kimmel Live!.” During the show, the actress told Jimmy Kimmel that she was close to divorcing her husband for killing off ”Jon Snow” during season 5 finale “Mother’s Mercy.”
“I made him promise me, I begged him … I said, ‘I’ve heard all this stuff … [Harington] got a haircut, I don’t want to divorce you, what’s happening?'”
“I said, ‘If you kill him, that’s it.'”
On February 20, 2007, the couple welcomed their first child, a girl named Frances Pen.
The couple has two more children, named Molly and Henry.
The family lives in Beverly Hills and Manhattan.
David is 6′ 2″ (1.88 m) tall.
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”From the beginning, we’ve talked about how the show would end. A good story isn’t a good story if you have a bad ending.”
”I was the dungeon master in my D&D game. Actually, most writers I know were the dungeon masters.”
”All four of my grandparents were born in the United States and died here, and it’s really pure fiction.”
”If the NSA and CIA can’t protect all of their information, what hope do we have?”
During a 2016 interview, David said that his favorite character is Sansa Stark.
D.B. Weiss and David won the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series 2015 Emmy Award for the Season 5 finale.
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David Benioff – Net Worth
Benioff earned most of his wealth from working as a screenwriter. David is best known as a writer, showrunner, and co-creator of Game of Thrones. According to reports, for Gemini Man (2019) he received $2 million, for Stay (2005) $1,8 million, and for 25th Hour (2002) $62,000.
Additionally, David wrote the screenplay for X-Men Origins: Wolverine. In 2019, he signed a multi-million deal with Netflix. Therefore, David Benioff has an estimated net worth of $22 million.
Featured image source – © Guliver / Getty Images.
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