The award-winning creators of Game of Thrones have pulled out of writing a new Star Wars trilogy set to hit theatres in 2022.
David Benioff and DB Weiss abandoned the plans announced in February last year in a statement claiming they would instead be dedicating their time to a string of new Netflix projects.
"We love Star Wars. When George Lucas built it, he built us too," they said. "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.
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"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."
The duo recently signed a $200 million multi-year deal with Netflix to produce exclusive content, after an intense bidding war between the streamer, Amazon, and Disney.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy commented on their shock departure in a statement to Deadline; "David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers," Kennedy said. "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."
The first film of the new Star Wars series was scheduled for a December 16, 2022 release in May, with two more released in 2024 and 2026. The three new films would have been separate from the main Skywalker saga
It is unclear whether Disney plans to continue with the trilogy that Benioff and Weiss were planning, but the Star Wars trilogy from The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is still in the works, while Marvel Cinematic Universe producer Kevin Feige is developing a separate movie.
David Benioff and Dan Weiss' exit from their mammoth Star Wars undertaking comes amid backlash from a moderated discussion of their creative strategy on Game of Thrones at the Austin Film Festival.
They were awarded 2019 Outstanding Television Writer award at the Austin Film Festival on Saturday – and afterwards sat down with AFF executive director Barbara Morgan to take questions from the audience.
The final season of Game of Thrones, shortened to just six episodes, received a mixed critical reception compared to the previous seven seasons, but controversially won big at last month's Emmy Awards.
Despite their many accolades for the series, they described the production of the show as like a "10-year drunk party" and complained about "giving up" 10 years of their life.
Commenting on their work for the hugely popular series, Benioff said it was "basically an expensive film school" he and Dave.
At one point in the discussion, while commenting on how they were very granular in details of individual shots but often lost sight of the big picture, they recalled how the mother of a baby featured in season one "was not happy because Dan just kept talking about a close-up of the baby's penis".
Twitter users were, understandably, not happy about their comments published via a now-viral thread by Twitter user Needle & Pen.