Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, despite Bob Iger announcing to in May 2019 that the duo were working on a new Star Wars trilogy, claim to not have enough time to journey to that galaxy, far, far away.
There is (another) great disturbance in the Force.
Less than 24 hours after a Twitter thread about the Game of Thrones showrunners' recent Austin Film Festival panel, Weiss and Benioff released a statement that they will no longer be making their new Star Wars films. The statement, along with one from Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, was released late Monday night.
Here's Weiss and Benioff's statement: “We love Star Wars…When George Lucas built it, he built us too. Getting to talk about Star Wars with him and the current Star Wars team was the thrill of a lifetime, and we will always be indebted to the saga that changed everything… There are only so many hours in the day, and we felt we could not do justice to both Star Wars and our Netflix projects. So we are regretfully stepping away.”
“David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers," Kennedy said. "We hope to include them in the journey forward when they are able to step away from their busy schedule to focus on Star Wars.”
The plan was for the Emmy-winning Game of Thrones writers to develop a new trilogy and at least write and direct the first film of it, with a December 2022 release date. It was rumored their films would center on the events from the fan-favorite video game, Knights of the Old Republic. However, BuzzFeed News debunked that in May 2019 with their exclusive report that Avatar 2 and Alita: Battle Angel screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis was writing the first movie in a reported Knights of the Old Republic trilogy. At Star Wars Celebration in April, Kennedy told MTV News, "Yes, we are developing something to look at," after being asked about KOTOR. "Right now, I have no idea where things might fall."
The timing on this announcement is very interesting. And it is very unlikely the showrunners were not able to get a development carve out in their Netflix deal for Star Wars -- because Netflix knew that coming in and wouldn't have made the $250 million deal without that being understood.
There is a chance, however, that back when the Davids signed their overall deal, Netflix hardlined them with a "take it or leave it" proposition, but that doesn't make good business sense: Why alienate or risk upsetting the two guys behind the biggest TV hit in the history of ever?
It is likely that something happened behind the scenes since May that likely lead to Lucasfilm releasing Benioff and Weiss/a mutual "conscious uncoupling." The two creatives are the latest filmmakers to hit the skids under Kennedy's tenure with the franchise. Josh Trank (Untitled Boba Fett Movie), Lord and Miller (Solo: A Star Wars Story), and Colin Trevorrow (Episode IX) were all hired and, ahem, fired, when various forms of creative differences affected their respective projects. (Don't forget Gareth Edwards was "let go" from Rogue One and Tony Gilroy was hired to oversee that film's extensive reshoots. Christopher McQuarrie also stepped in to help with the film prior to Gilroy's involvement.)
Whatever the reasons behind their exit, it is a weird time to be a fan of the franchise and for the franchise in general. Bob Iger is rumored to want to avoid another Last Jedi-level backlash from fans and is not keen on Rian Johnson's planned trilogy seeing the light of day. And J.J. Abrams is wrapping up his new trilogy -- and over 40 years of Star Wars movies -- with December's Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Right now, we do not know what the next big screen chapter of the Star Wars saga will be, but we hope the filmmakers behind it do not suffer fates similar to their predecessors.
Do you think Weiss and Benioff leaving the franchise behind is a good thing or bad? Who do you want to see make a Star War? Sound off below.