In an unexpected twist, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have parted ways with Disney’s Lucas Arts.
The pair walked away from their hotly-anticipated partnership with the media giant, a year and a half after it was first announced that they would be responsible for launching the next trilogy in the “Star Wars” saga.
Benioff and Weiss were set to begin developing the next chapter in the franchise’s boundless future, but they shocked fans around the world when they revealed on Monday that they are simply too busy to take the project on.
“We love ‘Star Wars’. When George Lucas built it, he built us too,” the pair shared in a statement released to The Hollywood Reporter. “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,” they added in the joint statement. “So we are regretfully stepping away.”
The duo — who created the ground breaking “Game of Thrones” series for HBO, forever changing the face and budget of prestige television — were tasked with developing the “Star Wars” universe’s next phase of life following the upcoming film “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker“, which is expected to cap off the nine-part Skywalker saga that began in 1977.
Benioff and Weiss were slated to write and produce the next film in the main “Star Wars” storyline — which is slated to hit theatres on Dec. 16, 2022 — as well as the following films in the planned trilogy.
Their project would be separate from the slate of extended universe projects currently in the works, as well as the Disney+ series “The Mandalorian“.
It was first speculated that their future with “Star Wars” could be on unstable ground when the pair inked a $250 million deal with Netflix back in August. If they’d continued their plans to produce the trilogy, their work on upcoming shows for the streaming service would likely have been pushed back.
Back in July, ET spoke with “Game of Thrones” actress Nathalie Emmanuel — who starred as Missandei — about working with the pair, and she said she would have loved to work with them again on their upcoming “Star Wars” projects.
“If they want to cast me in ‘Star Wars’, I will be totally fine with that. Absolutely,” she shared. “They’re awesome. I love those guys. They’re really good guys, and very talented writers, and I feel very privileged to have worked with them.”
“They’re really good men, and I definitely feel kind of sad that this whole chapter is over. I’m so excited to see them fly, because they did something that is damn near impossible, and they made the whole world fall in love with their show,” she added.
The final chapter in the current era of the “Star Wars” saga, “The Rise of Skywalker”, hits theatres Dec. 20.
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