David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Quit Star Wars As the Game of Thrones Season Eight Fallout Continues


Over the weekend during a panel at the Austin Film Festival, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss reportedly bragged to an audience about their inexperience with showrunning when they began working on the pilot for HBO's adaptation of the beloved Song of Ice and Fire book series. They didn't know how to write fantasy dialogue, they joked. They didn't understand the characters. Fans angry at the show's nosedive after it passed George R.R. Martin's source material saw this as a slight—as two men simply boasting about their own mediocrity.

Well, days after the much-maligned panel, Deadline reports that Benioff and Weiss are stepping away from their highly-publicized deal to create the next Star Wars series for Disney. Back in February of 2018, Disney announced Benioff and Weiss would develop the next post-Skywalker era of Star Wars. As I wrote at the time, Benioff and Weiss had no experience outside of Game of Thrones—and even that was largely supported by the brilliant source material from Martin. Why not, as one fan asked at the time, put the future of Star Wars in the hands of Guillermo del Toro, Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi, Patty Jenkins? Why not give the beloved franchise to a critically and financially proven movie director/writer who has handled something of this magnitude?

Now, it seems fans are getting what they asked for. Benioff and Weiss are stepping away from Star Wars to focus on their massive $200 million deal with Netflix, which they signed in August.


"We love Star Wars," the duo said in a statement from Lucasfilm. “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.”

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss attend the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones in April.


This is certainly not the first time a major creative team at the helm of this era of Star Wars has been replaced. Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy has replaced four Star Wars directors in the last three years. In December, J.J. Abrams's The Rise of Skywalker will mark the conclusion of the Skywalker saga. He took the movie over when Colin Trevorrow departed the project after his box office and critical bomb The Book of Henry in 2017.

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But Kennedy did not fully close the door on working with Benioff and Weiss in the future.

“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,” she said in a statement to Deadline.

Fans of Star Wars shouldn't worry, though, as there are a number of projects in a galaxy far, far away currently in development. The Mandalorian will drop on Disney+ in mid-November, there's an Obi-Wan series in the works with Ewan McGregor. In terms of movies, Disney currently has Star Wars films from Rian Johnson and Kevin Feige in the works.

This story originally appeared on Esquire.comMinor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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