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Game of Thrones creators leave planned Star Wars trilogy

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David Benioff and D.B. Weiss cited their Netflix deal as the reason for the departure

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David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the co-creators of HBO’s Game of Thrones, have exited the Star Wars trilogy they were set to make for Disney. The duo’s departure from the films, which were set to debut in 2022, was reported late Monday night by Deadline.

The Skywalker saga is set to end this December with the release of The Rise of Skywalker, and Benioff and Weiss’ trilogy was going to be a new beginning for the franchise. However, the two cited their recent deal with Netlfix and said that their schedules had simply become too busy to work on the new Star Wars trilogy.

In a statement to Deadline, Benioff and Weiss said, “We love Star Wars. When George Lucas built it, he built it for 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.”

This exit comes at the heels of a difficult time for Benioff and Weiss as the pair faced significant fan backlash over the final season of Game of Thrones. While the show received lavish praise from fans early on, the conclusion of the story proved controversial at best.

Just this past weekend, as criticism was starting to quiet, the two made an appearance at the Austin Film Festival. There, the two co-creators spoke candidly about how little they cared about fan reactions to the show as a whole and how unprepared they felt to take on the daunting project. These statements instantly sparked fan resentment and once again made the two the target of the internet’s ire.

None of these negative reactions seemed to be on the mind of Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy however, who said in a statement on Monday, “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.”

The creative duo’s exit from the one of Disney’s largest properties also comes at an interesting time for the company as a whole. Disney Plus, Disney’s streaming service, is set to launch of Nov. 12 — along with the new Star Wars show, The Mandalorian.

Now, rather than creating a trilogy of films that would live on the streaming Disney Plus forever — after what surely would have been long theatrical runs — Benioff and Weiss will spend their time working with Netflix. The two signed a deal with the streaming giant back in August for $200 million. This deal includes both future shows and films from the pair.

Disney announced its upcoming slate of movies through 2027 earlier this year. As part of that announcement three Star Wars movies were confirmed for release in 2022, 2024, and 2026. These three films were the Benioff and Weiss trilogy, but it is now unclear what will replace them. Rian Johnson, the director of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, was also announced to make a series of films in the Star Wars universe, however it’s unclear if those films are still on track or not.