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!
As we suspected, the post-hiatus Star Wars films will be kicked off with something from Game of Thrones‘ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Bob Iger confirmed today. So now we know they’re handling at least the 2022 film, and… That’s about it. “…the next movie we release will be theirs,” the Disney CEO said at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit. “We’re not saying anything more about that.”
As for TV, Iger also said that there’s likely to be at least one more Star Wars series for Disney+, in addition to Jon Favreau’s The Mandalorian (out in November) and Stephen Schiff’s Cassian Andor/K-2SO series (expected for 2020).
“My guess is there probably will be at least one more live-action series that we produce for Disney+, a Star Wars series, before we release the next film,” Iger said. “So we’re not doing nothing. I believe these TV series will be extremely popular for Star Wars fans and very very valuable to Disney+ while we gear up for the next set of films. We haven’t said anything more beyond what we’ve announced on the next film.”
As for the three-year hiatus following The Rise of Skywalker, it is in part to “figure out what’s next.”
“We’re hard at work doing that already,” he said. “Three years was the proper amount of time to not only take a breather and reset, but really gear up for the next film’s release.”
Maybe get some fresher voices in there? While I remain mildly intrigued with the concept of the Cassian show, The Mandalorian looks straight out of Dark Horse’s ’90s comic offerings, and the final season of Game of Thrones is not exactly out there covering itself in glory. I realize there’s a lot of gaps here (Rian Johnson, buddy?) and it’s still early, but I am not particularly optimistic about the state of on-screen Star Wars right now.
“Untitled Star Wars” for December 16, 2022 is likely the first movie from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The Avatar leapfrogging continues with more sequels in December ’23 and ’25, with a second “Untitled Star Wars” set for December 2024, and a third “Untitled Star Wars” in December 2026.
Both sets of films will be separate from “The Skywalker Saga,” which is what Lucasfilm has been billing Episodes I-IX as of late. December’s The Rise of Skywalker is said to be the last, but I’m old enough to remember them saying that about Revenge of the Sith as well.
Rian Johnson, at CinemaCon for his next film, Knives Out, talked Star Wars briefly with MTV’s Josh Horowitz. He does admit he’s gotten the chance to talk with IX director J.J. Abrams a few times, but says that overall he’s just happy to be in the audience for this round.
(Of course he knows a lot more than any of us, but hey.)
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.
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.
Collider reports today that future “A Star Wars Story” spinoff films that were in the works at Lucasfilm have been put “on hold.” Films focusing on Obi-Wan and Boba Fett have been rumored, but not yet officially annouced or confirmed in any way by Lucasfilm. (Meaning that, short of actually announcing one of the films, we’re unlikely to get any confirmation or denial of this report any time soon.)
“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?