Game of Thrones Creators Exit Star Wars Project
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss announced early on Tuesday morning that they would no longer be at the helm of the first Star Wars movies to follow Episode IX and will instead focus on their commitments to Netflix.
Benioff and Weiss’ services were the subject of a massive bidding war this summer. Following the conclusion of Game of Thrones and despite the critical and fan reception to the HBO series’ final season, the pair were being courted by HBO, Disney, Comcast, Amazon, Apple and eventual successful bidder Netflix for a film and TV development deal. Deadline reported that the deal was for five years and worth $300 million.
Citing their commitment to Netflix and their feeling that they wouldn’t be able to dedicate sufficient time to both Star Wars and Netflix, they withdrew from their Star Wars project. They were supposed to helm a new series of Star Wars movies starting in 2022.
LucasFilm recently announced that they would be launching new Star Wars movies in December 2022, December 2024 and December 2024. We also know that Episode VIII director Rian Johnson was signed to lead a new trilogy of Star Wars movies. While the deal was announced before the theatrical release of The Last Jedi, Disney and LucasFilm have not committed to a release window for Johnson’s movies. Also, Marvel boss Kevin Feige is slated to produce an upcoming Star Wars film.
Benioff and Weiss’ departure leaves a sizable gap in the Disney and LucasFilm schedule. The Rise of Skywalker seems to be the end of the episodic “Skywalker Saga” of films until Disney decides it’s time to make Episodes X through XII some years down the road. Presumably, production on the Johnson and Feige films will be accelerated to fill the hole in the film calendar.
At the moment, LucasFilm’s public focus is on its Disney+ offerings, including The Mandalorian, The Clone Wars and the currently untitled Cassian Andor and Obi-Wan Kenobi series.