It’s been a bad 24 hours for the Game of Thrones brand.
First, the television series’s co-creators creators David Benioff and DB Weiss announced they were stepping away from a new trilogy of Star Wars films due to release in 2022.
Then, news broke that the first GoT prequel spinoff for the series, starring Naomi Watts, was axed by HBO.
Benioff and Weiss say they ran out of time
Officially, the pair said they need to concentrate on their TV and film deal with Netflix, which is reportedly worth $200 million.
“We love Star Wars. When George Lucas built it, he built us too,” Benioff and Weiss said in a statement late on Monday.
“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 pair were expected to deliver a new trilogy of Star Wars films that would carry the torch once the Skywalker Saga wraps up with The Rise of Skywalker later this year.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy in a statement called Benioff and Weiss “remarkable 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,” she added.
The news dropped at an awkward time for the pair.
Game of Thrones’ final season wasn’t well-received (despite taking home the Emmy for Best Drama this year).
And at the weekend they held a Q&A session at the Austin Film Festival that left fans furious, because it seemed to confirm many of their long-held fears about the show’s direction when it was on the air.
At the panel Benioff and Weiss reportedly said they didn’t try to understand major elements from the books, didn’t have a writer’s room and treated the experience like “an expensive film school”.
@ForAyra: Dan is saying that #GameofThrones was basically an expensive film school for he and Dave. For example, they had no idea how to work with costume designers, and it was a huge learning experience.
Don’t panic if you’re a Star Wars fan …
The Force Awakens made more than $2 billion. The Last Jedi more than $1 billion.
Star Wars is as close to a golden goose as Disney’s got, and it’s got a few very shiny geese in its stable.
But after Rogue One and Solo didn’t quite measure up, the House of Mouse is already committed to giving everyone a break from yearly releases of Star Wars movies.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker drops later this year and will be the last movie for a little while. (Supplied: Lucasfilm via AP)
Despite the news about Benioff and Weiss’ trilogy, no-one is in danger of being short of Star Wars anytime soon.
The Mandalorian is about to be the flagship show for Disney’s new streaming service, with indications it lives up to the hype. There’s another series in production featuring Cassian Andor, the spy played by Diego Luna in Rogue One.
And the wraps are finally coming off the long-rumoured Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor.
The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is also working on a new film trilogy that doesn’t have a release date yet.
… or a Game of Thrones fan
Sure, the prequel that looked most likely to get produced has reportedly been scrapped after filming only one pilot episode.
It was supposed to be set thousands of years before the story told in the wildly popular original TV series and focus on the origins of the White Walkers.
Australian actress Watts was slated to star and the series was written by Jane Goldman.
But, it was only one of several Game of Thrones spin-offs in the works.
In May original series author George R R Martin said there were up to five “successor shows” in development (including the now cancelled one).
Two other shows remain in the script stage, but are edging closer. What are they about? I cannot say. But maybe some of you should pick up a copy of FIRE & BLOOD and come up with your own theories,” Martin wrote.
In September, Variety reported that HBO was close to ordering a pilot of the show Martin was hinting at, which covers the beginning of the end for House Targaryen.