"How the Jedi came to exist" was focus of Benioff and Weiss' Star Wars movie
That didn't take long!
Multiple reports reveal more about David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' departure from their Star Wars trilogy. This new information comes from Variety and The Hollywood Reporter drop less than 48 hours after the initial story broke. You know what we would give for a source to feed us information like this? Accepting applications for sources at firstname.lastname@example.org
Whenever Benioff and Weiss' Star Wars project was discussed prior to Monday October 29th, many assumed it would take place in the Old Republic era. That's mainly based on the duo's ability to bring Game of Thrones to life for HBO. New information made available by Variety suggests their first movie at least was going to take place well before that point on the galaxy's timeline.
"The “Star Wars” period the pair was interested in exploring was how the Jedi came to exist. However, Lucasfilm executives and the creators begin to see their visions for the films diverge during meetings last summer."
The idea that fans could have witnessed the creation of the Jedi Order is satisfyingly sour. But was the idea where the directors and Lucasfilm disagreed or was it the approach? Also if we were to see the creation of the Jedi, do we get the Sith's origins? How many lightsabers can you fit in one shot and not risk inducing an audience into epileptic seizures? Answers to questions we may never know.
Now as far as the $250 million deal Benioff and Weiss signed with Netflix, the streaming service had lost its patience. Originally, Netflex released a statement saying it was aware of Benioff and Weiss' deal with Lucasfilm. However, it has now been made public there was concern waiting for as many as four years for the duo to flip content for Netflix. One can't blame Netflix because they would be on the sidelines watching Benioff and Weiss pump out content for the competition.
Right now, the impression is that Benioff and Weiss left on their own but that just simply doesn't make sense. If you read our original story on this we give a few examples of why you can't just walk away from a contract.
Two points worth noting from The Hollywood Reporter story. It seems while Netflix was chill with Benioff and Weiss at first for signing while still with Disney, Kathleen Kennedy wasn't down to share the creative talent.
"Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that Benioff and Weiss' exit has been brewing since August. Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy is said to have been unhappy with the Netflix deal, inked just as they were scheduled to begin work on Star Wars. (Benioff and Weiss had said multiple times that they would not turn their focus to Star Wars until production wrapped on the final season of Thrones, which ended in July 2018.) Kennedy was not convinced the pair — known for focusing on one project at a time — could develop a sci-fi trilogy while also overseeing film and TV projects at Netflix. Sources say that as the duo shopped for an overall deal over the summer, they told potential suitors that they planned to work on Star Wars concurrently with any projects under their new deal."
The article also references Benioff and Weiss were turned off by - and get this - "toxic fandom." That feels like your mom saying you're half assing your sophomore year of college to a family member on the landline phone and your sitting at the dinner table trying to get down dry meatloaf and stiff green beans. That feels oddly personal. Maybe this article is just referring to those Fandom Menace peeps on Twitter? They seem like a threat. Did you see those pre-sale numbers for The Rise of Skywalker by the way?
These are the big pieces of information we identified. There are more nuggets of information dropped from industry professionals and insiders. We encourage you to check out those original pieces we have linked within the story. No sense re-writing the work of two solid journalists when you can read their work. At the same time, there's no harm sharing with you the "nuts and bolts."
Moving forward fans would be curious to learn the specifics of these directors walking away from Star Wars which seems like the ultimate franchise to participate in. But learning that information feels unlikely as there still are no answers for Lord and Miller leaving Solo or Trevorrow dropping Episode IX. Well, "Creative differences," are cited a few times.
Director fallout in Kathleen Kennedy era at Lucasfilm...
First off, she is hands down one of the most talented and successful producers/individuals who has worked in Hollywood. That said, is not the first time a director has made headlines for being terminated or leaving a Star Wars project. Below we have compiled a list of the four previous instances where show-runners and Lucasfilm agreed to disagree.
Josh Trank was supposedly tapped to first helm a Boba Fett project.
Colin Trevorrow was taken off of Episode IX. Basically, there were creative differences with the story. Mainly, he wanted to use the character of Luke Skywalker.
Phil Lord and Chris Miller: Canned on Solo: A Star Wars Story for creative differences. Lucasfilm brought on Ron Howard to direct. The film ultimately released to a poor performance at the box office despite praise from fans. #MakeSolo2Happen
David Benioff and D. B. Weiss leave unidentified trilogy slated for 2022
Garreth Edwards - Not removed, but Tony Gilroy hired to fix third act of Rogue One back in June of 2017. Of the honorable mentions, this is the only example with a director on the books helming a project
Edgar Wright was rumored to have a Star Wars project
James Mangold and Simon Kinberg were rumored to direct/write for a Boba Fett movie back in 2018
Stephen Daldry was rumored in May of 2018 to be the director of a Kenobi project
If not Benioff and Weiss in 2022, then who?
Right now the only other Star Wars film confirmed to still have the green light is Rian Johnson's trilogy. A project announced before the theatrical release of The Last Jedi in 2017. According to a tweet from Johnson earlier this year, it's still game on.
There is another. There is another. Kevin Feige was confirmed to be developing a Star Wars movie on September 27th by The Hollywood Reporter. His project is refered to as, "Part of President Kathleen Kennedy's plans for a new wave of Star Wars projects." It's rumored that story development is moving rapidly with Feige eyeing a big name actor to helm the project.
Another bit from that original article includes this note that Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy "is pursuing a new era in 'Star Wars' storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a 'Star Wars' film together," Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn tells The Hollywood Reporter.
It's fair for some to question what is the overall impact of Feige joining Star Wars. It's also fair to wonder how he has time to manage the MCU and do a Star Wars film while Benioff and Weiss express exhaustion from their impending workload.
Some speculate that Feige's involvement in Star Wars suggests a passing of the torch from Kathleen Kennedy. How much say does he have with Star Wars. Is it limited to just his production? Nothing has been confirmed by either party to give that validation. Disney stands by Kathleen Kennedy, after all her contract was recently renewed. Take this quote from The Hollywood Reporter.
"With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together," Disney co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman said in a joint statement.
It's another story for Disney's new streaming service Disney+. There are multiple live-action Star Wars shows to drop on the streaming service through 2021. Of course, a new Kylo Ren series and a Salacious Crumb series are rumored every other day online but here are the four shows confirmed as of October 29th, 2019. Disney's new streaming service Disney+ debuts November 12th. A bundle option with ESPN+ and Hulu is also available.
The Mandalorian's first season drops November 12th. It will include eight episodes while the show's second season continues production. Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, and Carl Weathers have been confirmed as directors so far for that second season. The seventh season of The Clone Wars is set to drop in early 2020. A Cassian Andor series is in development. Disney recently announced a Kenobi with Ewan McGregor returning to reprise the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the series to close out D23.
What do you think of the news Benioff and Weiss will now exit their Star Wars trilogy? Do you think Rian Johnson's project will slide into that 2022 spot? Tweet us your thoughts at @BTBDStarWars
David Ammo is the founder of Beyond The Blast Doors. David has worked to develop “a Star Wars conversation" where fans lead the discussion.
"My Dad showed me Star Wars when I was three and has regretted that decision ever sense."
You can catch David on "Beyond The Blast Doors, LIVE!" every Sunday morning 11 a.m., CENTRAL / Noon (EST) on the Beyond The Blast Doors YouTube Channel. You can also list to David, Gilbert, and Jesse on the BTBD Podcast stream available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.