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David Benioff and DB Weiss quit new Star Wars trilogy

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Story by Jack Foley

DAVID Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the writing duo behind Game of Thrones, have quit the Star Wars franchise they were hired to expand.

Their decision was announced over 18 months after they were hired to further the Star Wars Empire beyond the Skywalker saga. They had been set to write and produce the next Star Wars release after The Rise of Skywalker, which had a release date of December 16, 2022.

Their trilogy was envisaged as a completely new series that would have also stood separately from the one that The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson is working on. It remains to be seen whether their decision will impact the film’s release date.

In a joint statement, Benioff and Weiss blamed a busy schedule for the reason behind their decision.

“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. 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 added in a separate statement: “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 schedule clash in question stems from a five-year, $250 million overall deal with Netflix that Benioff and Weiss signed with the streaming giant in August, which immediately placed question marks over their commitment to Star Wars given that a new trilogy would have taken an estimated decade to come to fruition.

The duo have been in high demand since completing Game of Thrones, which swept the Emmy Awards this year with 12 wins, including best drama, despite receiving a divided response from critics and fans.

Back in the Star Wars universe, Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige is also developing a Star Wars film, which is being viewed as some as a potential testing ground for the Marvel Cinematic Universe architect to have a bigger role in a galaxy far, far away – possibly with a view to creating a Star Wars Cinematic Universe like Marvel’s.

Prior to that, all eyes are on JJ Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker, which will close out the Skywalker Saga when it opens in UK cinemas on December 19, 2019.

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