David Benioff rolled a nascent career as a novelist into that of a much-desired screenwriter of both blockbuster films and smaller, darker thrillers, before scoring a monster hit with his first venture into television as creator of the HBO series "Game of Thrones" (2011- ). Benioff published his first novel, The 25th Hour, in 2001 and went on to adapt it for a 2002 film directed by Spike Lee. Though he would publish a second novel in 2008, Benioff became a hot commodity as a screenwriter, winning major paydays for his script for the big-budget revision of the Homeric epic, "Troy" (2004), and his heady psychological thriller "Stay"(2005), helmed by Marc Forster. He collaborated with Forster again on the 2007 adaptation of the best-selling Afghanistan-set adventure novel The Kite Runner, and continued to score varying degrees of success with the taut aftermath-of-war suspense drama "Brothers" (2009) and the more typical Hollywood programmer "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (2009). In 2007, HBO hired Benioff, in tandem with friend and literary compatriot D.B. Weiss, to helm an ambitious venture, the sprawling sword-and-sorcery tale "Game of Thrones." Populated with some of Britain and Ireland's most respected but relatively unknown thespians, it quickly became a cable TV phenomenon upon its 2011 premiere. Transitioning to TV production both of massive scale and nearly universally acclaimed genius, Benioff and Weiss seemingly overnight made themselves ballyhooed television hitmakers, the darlings of critics and fanatical genre programming audiences alike.