It's fair to say the David Benioff and Dan Weiss have had a pretty tumultuous 2019.
Their fortunes were looking up, however, when it was confirmed that they were to write and produce the next 'Star Wars' film (which was due to be released in December 2022), as well as other titles in a new 'Star Wars' series.
However, a shock announcement was made last night when they released a statement blaming the 5-year Netflix deal that they signed back in August (worth a reported $250 million) as the reason.
"We love Star Wars. When George Lucas built it, he built us too," it read. "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. 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."
Kathleen Kennedy of Lucasfilm said: "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.”
Where this leaves the 'Star Wars' saga is not yet clear. With the final film of the 'Skywalker' trilogy, 'The Rise of Skywalker', set to hit cinemas in December, numerous small-screen projects based on the franchise are set to debut soon. This includes Jon Favreau's upcoming 'The Mandalorian' for Disney+.
The general consensus amongst fans seems to be one of 'What were they thinking?'...
What a week it’s been for Benioff and Weiss. They flat out admitted they didn’t know what they were doing on Thrones and then they lost Star Wars. I’d imagine it’s not a good idea to admit you don’t know how to do a fantasy epic when you’ve signed on to do Star Wars
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) October 29, 2019
Benioff and Weiss, still having trouble with endings
— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) October 29, 2019
Fan reactions are coming in after the news that Benioff & Weiss have quit Star Wars 😁🎉 pic.twitter.com/UwcXI4RnM0
— Fandom Menace Girl (@FandomMenaceGrl) October 29, 2019
At this point the modern Star Wars films have had more directors exit planned projects than make said planned projects.
Lord & Miller
Benioff & Weiss
Actually made Star Wars movies:
— Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) October 29, 2019
I am very relieved to read that D.B Weiss and David Benioff have stepped away from their Disney/Lucasfilm deal (to create a new trilogy). The last two seasons of #GameOfThrones proved without source material...they are lost. Let’s see what they bring to Netflix, and wait and see.
— Marty Kottick 🏳️🌈 (@Kottick82) October 29, 2019