Two articles claiming to know what’s behind the David Benioff and D.B. Weiss Star Wars exit came out yesterday, both pinpointing different reasons.
The first, from Variety, says the pair wanted to tackle the origins of the Jedi – and ultimately disagreed with Lucasfilm on the direction that should take.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter leans on multiple commitments and the concept of “toxic fandom,” always a handy scapegoat.
I’m not sure I’d take either explanation at face value, particularly give all the padding in both articles about past issues and “concerns”, but overall, the idea of creative differences seems pretty likely – and probably for the best.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are no longer on the Star Wars docket. The pair has backed out of their planned Star Wars films, per Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. And you know it’s for real, because here’s Kathleen Kennedy with the shade:
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy remarked, “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.”
Yeah, I’m guessing they have about as much of a chance as coming back as anyone in Westeros has to sit on on the Iron Throne. Have fun at Netflix, guys!
The genesis of the earlier report was prompted by studio space being canceled for a film based around the denizens of Mos Eisley, Jason says. I could also note that a Mos Eisley story could involve Boba Fett, but that’s probably my bias speaking, as Jason says both the Obi-wan and Fett films are likely safe.
Meanwhile, Lucasfilm sources tell ABC that “multiple” films are still in development and that yesterday’s report is “inaccurate”, though they naturally decline to share any details about the (unannounced) projects in question.
A more interesting nugget is that up sometime after Episode IX will be a film from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, which “be a little more grown up”, while Rian Johnson’s trilogy will be later, and more “all ages”. The timing is certainly something I find far more interesting here, but the tone concepts are more than we had before.
My own thoughts on this is that I wouldn’t expect a hard-R Star Wars film (though who can say), but perhaps PG-13 more along the lines of Revenge of the Sith, with Rian Johnson aiming for a more traditional PG or a softer PG-13 along the lines of what we’ve seen in the new trilogy so far.
“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.”
I am… More skeptical than usual about this one. I do enjoy Game of Thrones, but there’s plenty that Benioff and Weiss have done with the series that I’m less than gung-ho on. This feels like a very Trevorrowesque decision (more “edgy” white dudes?), and we all know how that turned out… Well, at least there (probably) won’t be any sexposition scenes, but more troubling is that these are dudes who seem to think that Confederate is a good idea.
In a Disney earnings call, CEO Bob Iger says the pair are “focused on a point in time in the Star Wars mythology and taking it from there.”
This does, however, seem to give us a more complete picture of Lucasfilm’s post-Episode IX plans. While I have no doubt we have not see the end of the saga films, a standalone “trilogy” and “series” seems like a good start to fill in a nice big gap… Like perhaps a decade or so?