David Benioff and D.B. Weiss’s “Star Wars” movies are no longer moving forward after the “Game of Thrones” creators parted ways with Lucasfilm earlier this year. Benioff and Weiss were hired in February 2018 to write a new series of “Star Wars” movies centered outside the main Skywalker storyline, which is coming to an end this December with the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Earlier this year, Disney dated the duo’s first “Star Wars” for December 16, 2022. That film is no longer happening after Benioff and Weiss split from Lucasfilm this week, citing a jam-packed schedule that includes their overall Netflix deal.
A new report from Variety uncovers some of the alleged friction that was created between the push and pull of the duo’s commitments to both Lucasfilm and Netflix. Talks with Benioff and Weiss reportedly starting falling apart in the summer after they signed their $250 million Netflix deal. Variety reports that while Netflix was aware of Benioff and Weiss’s “Star Wars” commitments it still wanted them to prioritize creating new television and film projects for the Netflix platform. Netflix is heading into an era of heightened competition now that streaming platforms Disney+, Peacock, HBOMax, and Apple TV+ will all be up and running by this time next year. The Netflix deal also reportedly worried Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, who would need Benioff and Weiss’ attention over several years to pull off their new slate of “Star Wars” movies.
Variety reveals that “the ‘Star Wars’ period [Benioff and Weiss] was interested in exploring was how the Jedi came to exist.” The tidbit hints the “Game of Thrones” creators were planning films based on the fan favorite “Old Republic” storylines. IndieWire has reached out to Lucasfilm for further comment.
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In a statement to Deadline announcing their departure, Weiss and Benioff said, “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.”
Kennedy added, “David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers. 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.’”
Now that Benioff and Weiss are no longer involved, the future of “Star Wars” remains somewhat less certain. J.J. Abrams’ “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is opening December 20, while the franchise’s first television series “The Mandalorian” is launching November 15 on Disney+. Outside of those projects, Lucasfilm is also prepping a Disney+ television series centered around Obi-Wan Kenobi, who will once again be played by Ewan McGregor. “The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson has been in talks to helm a new “Star Wars” trilogy for Lucasfilm, although there has been no official announcements yet on the project.