The powerhouse duo behind "Game of Thrones" confirmed this week they are no longer writing and producing an upcoming trilogy of "Star Wars" movies, a year and a half after their creative involvement was announced.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss joined forces with Lucasfilm in February 2018. The first film was scheduled for a Dec. 16, 2022 release with the subsequent installments hitting theaters in 2024 and 2026. It's unclear whether the planned trilogy will be scrapped, delayed, or rapidly re-worked by new writers on the same schedule.
Early reactions from "Star Wars" fans on Twitter indicate that they're not particularly distressed by the news, with many suggesting that Benioff and Weiss seemed in over their heads and pointing out that the final season of "GoT" was not exactly a crowd-pleaser.
Jeremy Conrad, the Editor-in-Chief of fan site Star Wars Unity, quipped, "The writer of 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' is no longer making a 'Star Wars' movie," adding, that it "seems like a lot of people are happy" about Benioff and Weiss' exit.
This certainly isn't the first time "Star Wars" fans have seen turmoil in the galaxy: 2017 brought two high-profile disturbances, first with the June dismissal of Phil Lord and Chris Miller from "Solo: A Star Wars Story" and then with September's firing of Colin Trevorrow as the director of the then-untitled "Episode IX." (Lord and Miller would later win an Oscar for "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse"; Trevorrow is at the helm of the third "Jurassic World" film.)
In a released statement, Benioff and Weiss alluded to conflicts related to the massive five-year, $250 million Netflix deal they made in August 2019: "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," they said. "But 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 also attributed the sudden exit to an inability to balance both deals: "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."
A separate trilogy led by Rian Johnson will be unaffected by the shake-up. The J.J. Abrams-directed "Rise of Skywalker," due out in December, will go unscathed as well. Also in the works is something currently under wraps from Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios' chief creative officer.