Reports: Why Benioff and Weiss (supposedly) left Star Wars behind

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.

Rumor: Ewan McGregor signed on for Obi-Wan project

One of the most persistent Star Wars rumors since Disney bought Lucasfilm has been the return of live-action Obi-Wan. Today, Cinelinx sources report that Ewan McGregor has signed on to reprise the role in what looks to be a Disney+ series.

Given the fandom’s evergreen thirst for Obi-Wan, and Disney+’s willingness to get film stars to reprise their roles for streaming – see Rogue One’s Diego Luna and Alan Tudyk, or many Marvel stars – this is quite plausible.

UPDATE: Now Fantha Tracks is weighing in with a number of additional details: McGregor will direct several of the 8 episodes, and have “a a familiar mechanical co-star.”

UPDATE #2: Giving this rumor a lot more weight, trades Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline are also reporting it, via their own sources. Reports from the Hollywood trades rank only a smidge below official confirmation, and as we’ve seen many times before, several of them having it independently is a very, very good sign.

D23 is just over a week away, and while we know for sure The Mandalorian will be the star, but the timing here is pretty interesting. The Disney+ panel at D23 Expo is Friday, August 23 at 3:30 p.m. Pacific.

LFL might branch out with Children of Blood and Bone adaptation

Lucasfilm might soon be expanding outside its two signature franchises. Deadline reports that Disney may be handing off an adaptation of Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone, one of last year’s big YA fantasy releases, to Lucasfilm.

The book was originally picked up by Fox 2000, which is now owned by Disney. Writer Kay Oyegun (This Is Us) is “making a deal” to write the film, which will be directed by Rick Famuyiwa, one of The Mandalorian’s directors. (He’s also rumored to be doing more Mandalorian and in the mix for the Cassian show, so clearly LFL likes what they’ve seen. )

Lucasfilm has done projects outside of Star Wars and Indiana Jones before – most recently Strange Magic – but this would be the first produced and developed since the Disney purchase.

Report: Laeta Kalogridis penning KOTOR film for Lucasfilm

There’s a little more grist for the Old Republic being the subject of an upcoming Star Wars film – and that a Star Wars film may have a woman screenwriter for the first time in decades. Buzzfeed News reports that Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Alita: Battle Angel) is writing a film based on the Star Wars video game Knights of the Old Republic. It’s possibly the first film in a trilogy, their sources say.

The last woman to have a screenplay credit on a Star Wars film was Leigh Brackett, who developed early versions of The Empire Strikes Back.

This isn’t the first time KOTOR has come up in the context of the post-Skywalker world – Kathleen Kennedy seemed very open to the concept last month, and there’s a shaky rumor that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were heading in that direction as well.

Buzzfeed says Kalogridis was brought on last spring. They don’t say which of the currently announced filmmakers Kalogridis would be working with – if any. The initial announcements for both Benioff and Weiss – who we know are helming the 2022 film – and Rian Johnson say they’re doing their own writing, so Kalogridis’ film could be something completely separate, or perhaps the plans have changed.

A straight adaption of the game seems unlikely, but even something inspired by it would be welcome among a large group of fans who played the games. (Well… Maybe. With this fandom, you never know.)

Is Dooku: Jedi Lost coming out as a hardcover?

Star Wars Upcoming Book and Comics has spotted listings for a hardcover version of the audio drama on both Amazon UK and Amazon France. (via)

Cavan Scott’s Dooku: Jedi Lost is Del Rey’s first foray into original Star Wars audio drama. There has been some backlash from fans – both the hearing impaired and those who just plain aren’t into audio formats – so an alternate format is not out of the question.

These Amazon listings are curious, but they doesn’t make it for sure – Amazon has steered us wrong many times before! If a text version is coming, expect an official announcement from Del Rey first.

For those who are into audio, Dooku: Jedi Lost is available now.

Rumor: Are Benioff and Weiss heading to the Old Republic?

We’ve heard unverified rumblings before that the first of the non-saga Star Wars films from Game of Thrones’ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss would come out before Rian Johnson’s, but today we have a time frame from Star Wars News Net: It’s up after IX, with filming to begin in the fall.

They – or rather, their source, who they say has “worked on every Star Wars film since Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm” – also claim that the films will be set in the Old Republic era, which will perhaps be most familiar as the Legends (i.e. currently noncanon) video game Knights of the Old Republic and various spinoffs, which include the still-active MMO The Old Republic.

If Lucasfilm’s aim is indeed to “appeal to a more Game of Thrones style audience.”, the still somewhat controversial pick (a couple of not-in-the-books rape plots on Game of Thrones, and that whole Confederate thing) of Benioff and Weiss suddenly does make a lot more sense.

To be honest, this whole thing reads to me like a repackaging of earlier (and even shakier) rumors and fan theories/wishful thinking, so I can’t put a lot of faith in it. (If you’re curious, the first KOTOR-centric movie “rumor” dates back to early 2013.) But as little as it appeals to me, there’s no doubt that the Knights of the Old Republic games and their offshoots are beloved by many fans. It’s hardly inconceivable that Lucasfilm might want to take a whack at them in canon. But, as always, I’m skeptical.

Consider that we still know next to nothing about anything happening past Episode IX, which could change at Celebration. For the moment, let’s just hope this rumor doesn’t lead to another round of “Rian got fired” from the angry bros and their short attention spans.

Rumor: Could there be a third Star Wars TV show in the works?

Two Star Wars TV live-action shows have already been announced for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service: The Mandalorian (which apparently wrapped S1 filming around the same time as IX!) and a yet-untitled Cassian Andor show that will serve as a prequel to Rogue One. Today, Fantha Tracks reports evidence of a third show, which will film in the U.K. – unlike The Mandalorian, which filmed in southern California.

They say the show might be announced at April’s Celebration Chicago. That’s also about the time we expect our first look at The Mandalorian, given reports that Disney will be sharing a first look at Disney+ original content with investors on April 11 – which also happens to be the first day of the con, though panels aren’t expected to begin until the next day.

Up for another Episode IX trailer rumor?

If not, too bad: we’ve got a pair of big Episode IX rumors out of Fantha Tracks today. The first? A “major UK cinema chain” might have received an IX trailer. Will we get a teaser of some sort with the title reveal? Will we get anything at all before Celebration in April? One way or another, we’ll hopefully find out soon. Or not.

Secondly, and more spoilery, there’s a potential new look for the Millennium Falcon.

Rumor: Big Episode IX costume leak

Last night, a poster on Reddit shared a set of small, blurry photos that claim to be costumes and concept art for Episode IX. I usually don’t post about Reddit leaks, but this one is big enough and looks like it could be possibly legit – they collaborate several other rumors, including another set of spy photos. I’m not posting the pictures, but basic details (without any descriptions or spoilers) and the link are below the cut.

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