Former Game of Thrones showrunners, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, will no longer oversee a new trilogy of Star Wars films for Lucasfilm, Deadline has confirmed. The three movies, said to be extensions of the beloved sci-fi universe beyond the drama of the Skywalkers, were slated to start rolling out in 2022 and conclude in 2026.
As for the reason why they are no longer involved, Weiss and Benioff reportedly cited their responsibilities to Netflix, which brought them aboard in early August via a major exclusive deal rumored to be priced at $200 million. Days after the deal was announced, it was reported that the pair were allegedly "scaling back" their Star Wars plans as their streaming commitment took hold.
The two offered up a statement (via Deadline) on their departure from the galaxy far, far away, saying:
“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. 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," added Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy, in a statement run by Variety.
The duo's Lucasfilm recruitment was first confirmed in the winter of 2018. Bob Iger (the current CEO and chairman of Disney) offered an update on their galactic involvement in May of this year, revealing that the first cinematic Star Wars project after Episode IX would be from Weiss and Benioff, whose professional schedules opened up once Game of Thrones was done airing its eighth and final season on HBO in mid-May.
"The conclusion that we reached is that three years was the proper amount of time to not only take a breather and to reset, but to really gear up for the next film's release. The next movie that we release will be theirs," Iger had said.
Even with Benioff and Weiss exiting, it's probably safe to assume that the fresh trilogy is still in the works and actively searching for a new captain or captains. Last Jedi writer/director, Rian Johnson, is also working on another trio of movies, but scheduling issues need to be resolved before production kicks off in earnest.
In any case, the long-running Skywalker Saga still needs to wrap up, and it will do just that when Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (directed by J.J. Abrams) opens in theaters Friday. Dec. 20. Lucasfilm is also gearing up for the Season 1 premiere of its first live-action Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, Tuesday, on Nov. 12.