David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, creators of a littler series you may have heard of titled Game of Thrones, joined Lucasfilm in February 2018.
The two creators, writers and executive producers joined the Disney brand with a plan to craft a new post-Skywalker narrative that would introduce a new trilogy. The first film was to arrive in 2022. Well, scrap that.
Benioff and Weiss are no longer involved in the project, announcing that their busy schedule – and in particular the big deal they made with Netflix in August this year – would simply make it too difficult to manage.
“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,” the duo said in a statement to Deadline. “So we are regretfully stepping away.”
They added that their passion for Star Wars has always been and remains strong: “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.”
The two made a sizable deal with Netflix – one reportedly in the range of $US250 million – that will have them writing, producing and directing various projects. The deal includes series and movies.
As far as what the future holds, there remains a strong possibility that Benioff and Weiss could return to the Star Wars fold. Lucasfilm certainly sounds keen to keep the door open.
“David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers,” said Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “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.”
It’s not clear just how big of a hiccup the Benioff/Weiss exit is in Lucasfilm’s overall gameplan going forward. It’s not as though Lucasfilm is starved for talent, with creatives including Rian Johnson and Kevin Feige already on board to help craft future films.