David Benioff and Dan Weiss are tools. Their appearance in Austin this past weekend confirmed that. They waltzed into HBO and used their huge Game of Thrones budget as some kind of on-the-job film school. They didn’t care about the characters or the stories. They were too ensconced in their own privilege to actually consider the idea that they were not the people who should adapt these stories onto the screen. If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because this happens again and again in Hollywood – white dudes are given every f–king opportunity to fail up. They’re given $80-100 million film budgets when they are untested, unproven and ill-equipped. Kathleen Kennedy controls the Star Wars franchise now, and she’s one of the Hollywood players most guilty of this: so many of the problems facing the Star Wars-adjacent movies are rooted in her decisions to hand off these properties to white dudes who don’t know WTF they’re doing. Which is why it felt sort of perfect (terribly perfect) that Kennedy hired Weiss and Benioff to take charge of the Star Wars franchise in 2022. Except now… they’re out. ORLY.
David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the duo who in 2011 launched the singular screen sensation known as Game of Thrones, have walked away from their much-publicized deal with Disney’s Lucasfilm to launch a feature film trilogy in 2022. Benioff and Weiss were supposed to usher in the post-Skywalkera era of the Star Wars brand with a 2022 new-start story that would stake out a new frontier for the era-defining cinema brand created by George Lucas. The Emmy-winning pair cited their historic deal with Netflix. They said their enthusiasm for Star Wars remains boundless but, regrettably, their schedule is full up.
“We love Star Wars,” the pair said in a statement to Deadline. “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.”
That 2022 release date made the Benioff/Weiss start-up the next-in-line Star Wars installment following this December’s The Rise of Skywalker, the finale chapter of the Skywalker family chronicles that have been captivating moviegoers since 1977. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has plenty of other Star Wars projects in the hopper — The Rise of Skywalker in December, The Madalorian in 15 days on Disney+, and the ramping Ewan McGregor series, to name just three — so it’s unclear how much of a setback the now-nixed trilogy presents. There’s no shortage of upcoming collaborators lined up, either, among them Rian Johnson and Kevin Feige.
Did Benioff and Weiss have a rare moment of self-awareness where they suddenly understood that they were creatively incapable to helming such a gigantic property? Or did Kathleen Kennedy tell them that it probably wouldn’t work out, and they got to “quit” without any drama? I think it’s probably a little bit of everything, honestly. And keep in mind, Disney has decided to pull back on all of the Star Wars stuff after The Rise of Skywalker. They realized they were oversaturating the market with all of the spinoffs and whatever. Plus, The Last Jedi was trash and it’s not like Benioff and Weiss would suddenly add some fresh new voice to a franchise which is… not doing great from a storytelling perspective. I mean, sure, the films are still crazy popular and crazy-lucrative. But…come on.
Photos courtesy of Getty and WENN.
Well, bet they’re wishing they didn’t wrap up GOT so shoddily! It was like, “Bye bitches, we’re off to do STAR WARS”! LOL!
Is that what really happened though? Almost everyone believes that D&D screwed GOT S8 over so they could concentrate on Star Wars.
What if they’re just sloppy writers even without getting their names attached with Disney? The show took a nosedive in quality once it outran the source material. They were good from S1-S4 but from S5 onwards it was hit-and-miss (mostly miss)
(Not trying to be snarky, just curious over what’s going on)
They’ve been talking about doing Star Wars for years now. That was always a goal of theirs. The deal with Disney to do a SW trilogy has been in the works for several years, too. It’s not a coincidence that the deal with Disney was only announced once GOT’s final season had started. They’ve talk, too, about really wanting to move on from GOT and do other things.
No, they rushed it because they were done with it, instead of handing it off to someone else (which certainly HBO would have been okay with).
I think the answer could be in Kathleen Kennedy’s quote:
“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.”
There is some shade here. How it reads to me is that D&D signed on for a Star Wars trilogy and then later signed a huge Netflix deal. I can’t imagine Lucas Films was happy with this, because D&D can’t focus on both. Hell, they couldn’t even focus on GoT. So Kennedy probably told them that needed to make a choice. And in the end, they parted ways.
I know people like to dump on Kathleen Kennedy, but it sounds like D&D really screwed the situation here. If you’re going to sign a deal to do a Star Wars trilogy, then that should be your main goal. Why would you then sign a deal with Netflix?
@Jenns – that quote made me laugh, seems they tried to play Kennedy/Disney off against Netflix and got their ass handed to them by one of the most powerful women in HW. Unlike them Kennedy has a long and proven track record of producing some of the biggest franchises and movies over the last 3 decades. She was a long time producer for Spielberg and produced all 3 of the first Indiana Jones movies, the Back to the Future trilogy as well as the Oscar winning movie The Colour Purple.
Am glad she kicked those 2 hacks to the curb – they will find Netflix won’t be so generous with money like HBO was or Disney could have been. Netflix are well known for cutting budgets after the first season of any show.
So glad they aren’t touching Star Wars after they ruined GoT. I can’t help but think there is more to this story.
I’d love to think there was some cause and effect going on here.
The day Kennedy hires folks other than white entitled newbie male directors to do SW will be the day she’ll deserve slack.
Good! Now they can’t ruin Star Wars. These two are such major assholes. I hope Netflix pulls out from them, too.
I will say the GOT fans were a lot less vicious than a Star Wars fan would be. I’m still upset how they ruined GOT but I’m not lighting a torch & heading out. The true Star Wars base would, without a doubt, burn them to the ground.
I’m sure the Austin performance helped Kennedy pull the plug before they destroyed another beloved universe
Full transparency: I am ride or die Targaryen & I still want to know where Drogon is
The Star Wars fans would have crucified D&D. So this is a good move for everyone. I suspect D&D was making a deal with Netflix behind Kennedy’s back, hoping to cash in on both — then Kennedy found out, and the Star Wars deal fell through. Because I can’t imagine any producers, even those hacks D&D, willingly choosing Nextflix over Disney — especially now that Disney’s own streaming service is set to debut, and Disney has a history of putting competitors out of business. Plus, being in Disney’s good graces opens up potential for involvement in many other lucrative areas, like Marvel movies, merchandising, Xmen/Spiderman, other Fox properties, ABC television, theme parks, etc.
I don’t get why we can’t just let Star Wars end.
Because it makes a lot of global sales?
Why would we let Stars Wars end? 🙁
Bite your tongue! Star Wars, Star Trek, Terminator, Gozira lol, Middle Earth and yes, now Westeros. Some stories must NOT die! 😁
It did end for a long time and then Hollywood became a place of endless sequels and squeezing every last dollar from a interesting idea and iconic movie. And now they are ruining Star Wars.
It did end- after the first trilogy from the 70s-80s. All that’s followed has been a decades long money grab. Just ignore all the sequels.
Thank, Christ! This has put a smile on my face.
So… Confederate’s back on? 🙂
Also: Fuck you both. You shat the bed, Lucasfilm wanted out; you get to save face (but not really) and you’re off to Netflix. Who must be sweating bullets by now.
Do they really think GOT won’t haunt them forever? I still flinch when I see Damon Lindelof’s name. Leftovers be damned!
The Leftovers is one of the best shows on television. Also, The Last Jedi is the best Star Wars movie. Just needed to say this since I’m feeling personally attacked in here, lol.
Anyway, Kathleen Kennedy’s annoyed quote tells me that they couldn’t deliver. I’m sure she was just as shocked when they signed their Netflix deal, because they couldn’t do a Star Wars trilogy and develop original content for Netflix. Basically these two have proven that they have no intention on following anything through. So now they’ve burned bridges with HBO and Lucas Films. They can go and work on sh*t content on Neflix. They cancel things after three seasons anyway.
I am still drinking my coffee, so I may be missing the obvious – what was Kathleen Kennedy’s annoyed quote?
Here is the quote. I detect shade over the fact that she signed them to do a Star Wars trilogy, which they committed to, and then they went and signed with Netflix.
“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.”
Good news everyone! I am creating a Star Wars trilog….oh wait I’m too…..busy…yeah that’s it, busy.
They were fired. Not let go. I already knew their privilege is what got them the GoT gig, cause they are talentless af. But that interview they gave the other day made me really furious and so eff these guys. I hope they stay away from my beloved mcu.
I loved The Last Jedi. I thought it was bloody fantastic. So did the person I saw it with, and everyone else in the cinema seemed to too. I honestly don’t understand the hate for it. I get why a lot of white men hate it – because they’re used to seeing themselves as the protagonists and heroes of everything and this movie has two Asian women heroes, the main hero who is a woman, a black man and a Hispanic man who are heroes, two boss lady older women heroes, and only one white man returning hero, who has to be pushed into being heroic again. But I didn’t expect to see hate for it here. I loved it.
I loved The Last Jedi too, you’re not alone.
And I’m relieved these two dweebs are off the project!
I loved it too and I’m glad these two mediocre fools are stepping away from star wars
Hate might be too strong a word, but I found about 75% of it totally flat. And I’m getting a bit tired of being grouped in with hateful white men. There are a lot of reasons to dislike that movie. The First Order seemed so small (all those hours chasing rebel…sorry, resistance ships and not a single other ship in the galaxy that could light speed in front of them?). It did a terrible job setting up confrontations (other than Luke and Kylo). Who were the red guys? You’ve set Rey and Kylo up as super powerful and I’m supposed to be thrilled they are fighting like 6 guys who might be glorified storm troopers? Good cinematography, TERRIBLE fight choreography. Oh and Finn fights Phasma! Someone he…hasn’t mentioned the entire movie and hasn’t done anything in the whole series but get thrown in a garbage can. Wow…thrilling. 🙄 And wtf was Benicio del Toro and that Roger Rabbit impression? Max Kanata’s a compelling…oh wait she bounces around like Sonic the Hedgehog now. And it undercuts it’s own emotions. They are devastated at the end and ….stand around smiling and hugging. No Empire Strikes Back pathos or courage to let the impact actually land. That’s for starters.
Hamill was wonderful and Driver certainly made the most of what he had. The rest?…meh.
Could not disagree with you more about the fight choreography. I thought it was fantastic. I think that showdown in Snoke’s throne room was one of the best lightsaber/action sequences in the franchise’s history if I’m being honest.
Don’t mind me; After 30 years of martial arts training, two black belts and several national competitions, my standards are very high. I’m picky. 😉
But one of the many (many!) reasons Star Wars can’t get a foothold in Asia is fight choreography. That sequence wouldn’t pass muster for children’s afternoon television over there.
I’m a Huge Star Wars fan. My first movie memory is going to a Star Wars movie with my mother. So I have always loved Star Wars. Am I excited to see more POCs in it. Yes! But that doesn’t change how I feel about TLJ.
I can only tell you why I hated the TLJ. My main reason – Reylo. I know people ship them and ship them hard. But their relationship left a bad taste in my mouth. TLJ picks up immediately after TFA. Just starting with the intrusion into Reys mind without her permission then let’s link her to supposed villain of the movie. The guy who just kidnapped her. He tortured her. He killed his father in front of her. Tried to kill her best friend and her. Just a few hours ago! Hes a mass murdering nazi who has killed an entire star system in front of her but let’s have Rey run to his rescue and save him. Bc his uncle tried to murder him. And I have a problem with that too. I have lots of smaller reasons like no proper light saber duel or Adm Ackbars death. But I will keep this short.
Yeah it was very clear the Johnson has at best a medium interest in Rey beyond how she could move Kylo’s story along. And he had zero interest in poor John Boyega. They cut his whole part to bits! Ouch! I admit I was one of those who found the Force Skyping a bit clunky. Liked Luke’s trick for the most part though.
Luke had massive amounts of empathy and hope for Vader despite everything he knew of him too, though. Rey’s inherent goodness and kindness is one of my favorite qualities about her. But what I loved even more is that she didn’t waste too much time on Kylo, in the end. She had hope for him, and thought maybe she understood him. But as soon as he continued ranting about his normal BS, she got the heck out of there, and both literally and figuratively closed the door on that chapter.
Luke had empathy for Vader AFTER he found out that Vader was his father. Luke had time to come to terms with Vader misdeeds. Luke also had a reason to try and save him. What’s Rey reason for trying to save Kylo after all the atrocities he committed against not only her and her friends but the galaxy a few hours ago? That Kylo is misunderstood and Rey is good. I’m tired of the good girl saves the misunderstood emo guy trope. Yes she cuts him loose in the end but did she really? I guess I will find out in six weeks.
@Prettykrazee Well, at the time Rey was sent on a mission to bring Luke back into the fold and gain his help in fighting the First Order. When it was apparent he wasn’t budging, while she was also making these random connections with Kylo, she’d hoped maybe some of the vulnerability she’d seen in Kylo meant he could be turned back to the light and help them instead of Luke. That was her reason for saving Kylo. It wasn’t about her being in love with him, or even liking him, or validating anything he had done. She just had hope that he could help the cause and rejoin the fight alongside his mother after gaining a better understanding of how he felt. When he didn’t turn, she left. Not touching on that trope at all, honestly, at least not in TLJ. I hope it doesn’t in ROS, either. It’s not Rey’s job to save him, and I doubt that will be the message here in the end.
@case I interpreted it completely differently. She decided this bc Luke wouldn’t help. She decided that she can’t change the former Jedi, hero of the galaxy to come back and join the fight but she can change the murdering space nazi that just kidnapped and tortured her a few hours ago. Why did she think she can turn Kylo to good when she just watched him murder his father, a few hours ago when he tried to do the same thing? Bc she’s sense some vulnerability in him thru the against her will mind link. That vulnerability didn’t save his father, her idol. His own mother and father couldn’t save him, but she can. Why? Her optimism and goodness?
No they aren’t in love, yet (Thats why they are Reylo shippers hoping the will be). But the like is definitely there. The goo-goo eyes the made at each other. Her anxiousness in his presence. The nervousness she felt when he didn’t have on a shirt. Her utter surprise and disappointment when he asked her to join him in becoming a despot.
It’s been awhile since I watched TLJ. I watched it once in theaters opening weekend. I had a such negative reaction to it, I haven’t watched it again. The only SW film, that doesn’t have repeated viewings by me or my husband. I plan on watching it again closer to ROS opening day. I don’t know if I will change my mind about it, but your opinions on it will have me watch it in a different light
@Prettykrazee What’s cool about movies is that people can take away totally different messages and undertones from them. 🙂 Very cooI to think that next time you watch, you’ll have another viewpoint in your mind, whether you agree with it or not, so thanks for saying that. I just did a complete Star Wars marathon, so TLJ is fairly fresh in my mind at the moment, which is the only reason I’m able to talk about the details at length, lol!
I think for me, an important piece of this is that yeah, Rey is young and optimistic, and going to “save” Kylo had a small chance of success, but she tried it anyway. It’s not ever framed as being the wise thing to do. Luke directly opposes it. It mirrors Anakin making the poor decision to try to rescue his mother when he’s warned there’s little chance she’s alive, and Luke going to rescue his friends when he’s warned he needs to complete his training instead of letting his emotions get the better of him. False hope. Luke warns Rey of this. Leia and Han both pretty much admitted he’s a lost cause. But she tries anyway. And she fails — sort of. She walks away disappointed, but also comes away with a renewed sense that she is NOT like Kylo, not giving in to the darker sides of herself, despite his insistence that they’re not so different because of their sad backstories/loneliness/whatever nonsense he was trying to push on her.
I get why people can read TLJ as a Reylo thing, but I hope the narrative leaves them as just two sides of the same coin — he’s dark but admits being drawn to the light, and she’s the opposite. The idea of them representing cosmic balance without going the obvious romance route in the end would be great to see. Because at this point hopefully the dude can turn it around in the last act, but he can never (read: should never) be redeemed.
The Last Jedi was thematically flawless and clearly made by someone with an enormous amount of love for the franchise who isn’t afraid to examine some of the less widely critiques aspects of it.
I hate to use the ‘you just didn’t understand it’ excuse, but the people who loathe this film for it’s supposed storytelling ‘blunders’ just don’t understand a more nuanced narrative structure.
Lulu, I totally agree. The examination of what it means to be a “legend” — the consequences of it but also the inspiration it can give others; the importance of failure and learning from it; what it means to resist and the different ways that takes shape for various characters throughout the film; etc., all moved me and elevated Star Wars to its most emotionally complex level to date. I love TLJ.
I also loved The Last Jedi. It was visually stunning and many of the characters had a chance to really get fleshed out from the first one. I hated the extended casino scene, but other than that, I thought it was a great movie.
My biggest problem with Last Jedi was the way Luke Skywalker was portrayed. The other nonsense I could deal with but the character assassination of Luke was just wrong.
My biggest problem with The Last Jedi was the entire film. “Nuanced narrative structure” sounds like a highbrow way to pass off what was a terrible movie.
TLJ was trash for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with many of the toxic bro-splaining that I saw online that I definitely and vehemently disagreed with. Leia Poppins floating through space is one of them. Daisy Ridley and her one facial expression. Poe and Finn essentially being reduced to background extras. Chewey being sidelined and acting more as scenery. And what they did to Luke was a travesty. And that’s not even the half of my gripes.
It was an entertaining flick, as long as you don’t look at it as a Star Wars movie. I sat in the theater and I digested everything and was intrigued, but once I left the theater, the more and more I thought about it, the more pissed I got at how they crapped on the legacy.
There was a lot of build up to a whole lot of nothing.
I get that Johnson wanted to move the story away from the Skywalker family but the whole damn trilogy – original & prequel- are based on that family.
I loved GoT (until later seasons) I thought they did a great job in the beginning, especially casting like Sean Bean, hiring (costuming, directors).
I don’t think GRRM was super into the fantasy element either. The books read more like political thrillers than anything else. Hes not the best writer but his dialogue is great (he used to write for television) which is why I think everything worked.
B&B are weak writers but they had dialogue prewritten from the source material. Mostly their job was to organize the storytelling into episodes. It fell WAY apart when they had to actually write.
Also these 2 really do have punchable faces. Esp in these photo’s.
Sounds like the mouse fired them to me. Who quits Star Wars? Disney probably didn’t want 1 good film, a mediocre one, and a slapped together finale as soon as they booked their next gig.
Why, why, why, why couldn’t they have pulled out of the final year of Game of Thrones. WHHHHHHHHHHYYYYY??? As an entertainment lover, I think I will remember my Games of Thrones sadness when I am a ninety year old Grama. “Oh, Grama once loved a show … oh, those darn writers, ruined it. Ruined Grama’s fun.”
Lol!! You and a whole lot of other people think the same damn thing.
I like the Last Jedi, but I understand the criticism about it. The whole thing with the slaves and the horse racing or whatever and finding the code breaker…..I’m just not sure what that added to the story.
I thought it was the ending Luke deserved though, so I give them major points for that.
As for these douchebags – good. I’m sure they were fired or encouraged to quit, so at least someone at Lucasfilm has some awareness.
Now if only Netflix would wise up and send these two packing. Netflix really can’t afford to waste millions of dollars on whatever dribble these two come up with. I don’t think they have the creativity or imagination to create anything of their own.
Last I heard, their next tv series was going to be a klansman’s fantasy about our world if the South had won the civil war.
someone probably found out they had never seen a star wars movie, decided there were too many to watch and were going to make up their own thing based on never watching, reading or researching the source material…like they just admitted to for GOT.
Yay! So freaking happy to have these hacks out of the SW family. Good riddance to the rubbish!
Thrilled they’re no longer attached. After the terrible things I heard about GOT’s finale season, I was very worried.
And instead of saying “The Last Jedi was trash,” how about “I THOUGHT The Last Jedi was trash,” instead? It’s not a fact. I loved TLJ.
I don’t know- if someone’s going to critique something, I kind of enjoy it when they use strong statements and pull no punches. We all don’t need to like the same things, but there are objective standards for storytelling, so you actually *can* factually call a film, book, etc trash. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t still like it though. 🙂
THANK YOU! After reading yesterday’s post I was so miserable they were going to ruin what is left of Star Wars.
They should’ve focused on the job at hand and given GOT everything they had for every season. The global appreciation for this world should’ve meant more to them. I’m so thankful their next big thing got pulled. They deserved it. Doubt anyone won’t think twice about hiring.
HBO just announced they are not gonna green light the GOT prequel with Naomi Watts. Wow, they screwed over a lot of people at that talk in Austin, didn’t they.
I still can’t believe Netflix paid big money for these two after they bombed the ending of GoT. Nobody watched that show for their material – that’s all GRRM’s foundation that drew people in, and they couldn’t even grow from that. I hope whatever they do on Netflix bombs, and those morons in charge get to eat the cost of this.