Game of Thronesco-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will no longer be making their planned Star Wars trilogy, which would have kicked off the franchise's post-Skywalker era in 2022. The duo cite scheduling issues due to their massive new production deal with Netflix as the reason for their exit.
In a statement to Deadline, which first reported the news, Benioff and Weiss said, "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."
Benioff and Weiss' deal with Star Wars was first announced early 2018 but became a major source of scorn during this year's much-maligned final season, as many Game of Thrones fans believed the pair may have rushed the divisive final season in order to get to work on the Star Wars trilogy.
Fans on social media have unsurprisingly had a lot to say about the news of their departure from Star Wars.
The news of Benioff and Weiss' Star Wars exit also closely follows the pair's appearance at Austin Film Festival on Saturday, where a thread documenting their statements prompted frustration online. Comments about their unpreparedness to adapt George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, executive decisions like not hiring a writing staff to help them navigate the dense material, and their choice not to focus on the fantasy elements of what is decidedly a fantasy epic or the thematic elements of the original work were widely panned on social media.
However, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy attributes their exit solely to scheduling issues. In a statement, she left the door open for another Benioff and Weiss-led Star Wars franchise in the future, saying, "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' nine-figure, five-year production deal with Netflix was announced in August and entails the duo writing, producing, and directing new films and series for the streaming service.
Game of Thrones is available to stream on HBO.