“Game of Thrones” producers D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have a plan for their post-Westeros life. Disney announced the two have been tasked with writing and directing a new series of “Star Wars” movies, ensuring that there will never be a shortage of stories set in a galaxy far, far away.
According to Variety, the movies will be separate from both the Skywalker narrative that set the original franchise in motion and the trilogy that Rian Johnson was gifted after he delivered “The Last Jedi” in December with minimal drama. For those keeping score at home, that means we have the second spinoff, “Solo,” and “Episode IX” to look forward to this year and next, plus the third stand-alone installment, slated for 2020, the Rian Johnson trilogy and the as-yet-unquantified series that Weiss and Benioff will helm.
“We are honored by the opportunity, a little terrified by the responsibility, and so excited to get started as soon as the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’ is complete,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement — which is interesting, because last we heard they were planning on making a controversial series for HBO called “Confederate.”
“Confederate” was supposed to depict an alternate history of the United States in which the Civil War turned out differently and slavery continued. Response on social media was not good. As of November, the show was still technically in development, though, according to The Washington Post’s Steven Zeitchik, Weiss and Benioff were not actively working on it. It’s hard to imagine they’ll have time to focus on a television series when they have a whole film series to create. A call to HBO asking for clarification was not immediately returned.
Now the question is how Weiss and Benioff will fare within the “Star Wars” machine. The Emmy winners have an excellent track record adapting beloved material for a fanatic audience, not to mention coming up with new narratives within an established universe. But HBO is known for giving its producers creative freedom, whereas Lucasfilm is not.
Since Disney took over the franchise and started pumping out new installments, there have been a number of high-profile departures over creative differences. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, for example, were mid-production on “Solo” when they were dismissed and replaced by Ron Howard. Colin Trevorrow was set to direct “Episode IX,” but he too was let go so that an established entity — “The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams — could step in. Meanwhile, there were extensive reshoots to Gareth Edwards’s “Rogue One.”
Would proven hitmakers like Weiss and Benioff get more artistic license? We’ll find out — most likely sometime in the 2020s.