Things are apparently a bit turbulent right now in a galaxy far, far away. Hot off the heels of a brand new trailer for The Mandalorian, Deadline dropped the news that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunner duo who brought Game of Thrones to HBO, have exited their deal with Disney and Lucasfilm to create a Star Wars trilogy all their own. Until now, the first entry in Benioff and Weiss’ three-movie saga was set to hit theaters in 2022.
The pair released a 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.”
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy was equally gracious in her statement:
“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.”
Benioff and Weiss have been a hotly contested commodity in Hollywood lately, after the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones was largely a critical dud, and the leaders of the ship did themselves no favors with after-the-episode comments and a cancelled Comic-Con appearance. More recently, a Twitter thread made up of the partners’ comments at the Austin Film Festival went viral—and not in the good way—due to remarks made on their inexperience as showrunners and desire to strip George R.R. Martin‘s source material of its fantasy elements.
Both filmmakers will be more than fine. Back in August, Benioff and Weiss signed a massive nine-figure overall deal at Netflix, and the new report notes that their busy schedule is the reason given for exiting the Star Wars deal. But this does also smell a bit like a Colin Trevorrow situation, no? The Jurassic World director was initially slated to helm Star Wars 9—now titled Rise of Skywalker and directed by J.J. Abrams—before he was low-key fired amid behind-the-scenes turmoil and, depending on who you ask, the overwhelming critical rejection of The Book of Henry. Or maybe you may remember the saga of Josh Trank, pushed out of a Star Wars spinoff after the “unusual” production of Fantastic Four, or even Chris Miller & Phil Lord, who were yanked from Solo and replaced with Ron Howard. I am genuinely sure Benioff and Weiss are insanely busy with the Netflix deal, but there’s also plenty of precedent that suggests Disney simply does not mess around with the reputation of their non-Marvel crown jewel.
Either way, this certainly isn’t the last we’ll hear about this Death Star-level blow-up. For now, catch up on the future of Star Wars by watching the latest Rise of Skywalker trailer and read up on the latest news concerning Rian Johnson‘s trilogy. Which, as far as we know right now, is still moving right along.