By their own admission, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff nearly destroyed Game of Thrones before it was created. According to an audience member who reported out Weiss and Benioff’s appearance at the Austin Film Festival, the duo responsible for one of the biggest TV series in history said they didn’t even know how to make a television show. The making of GOT was apparently just one long film school class for Weiss and Benioff, who had no real idea how to write scripts for television, how to work with a costume department, or what the characters they were bringing to life would actually be like.
Somehow, in spite of all this, they failed up into eight seasons of the most expensive show in history, and near its completion, they were offered the opportunity to help build out the next part of the Star Wars galaxy. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Benioff and Weiss were hired by Lucasfilms president Kathleen Kennedy in hopes of creating the next trilogy installment of the Star Wars films, the first of which is slated to be released in 2022.
On Monday, however, Benioff and Weiss announced they were exiting the project.
"We love Star Wars. When George Lucas built it, he built us too," Benioff and Weiss said in a statement, according to THR. "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. 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 Netflix projects that Benioff and Weiss are referring to is the $250 million deal they signed in August, which bound them to the company for five years. At the time, the news was surprising. It seemed like a massive challenge to meet the content creation requirements for Netflix while also running the next phase of the Star Wars story. It turns out the challenge was too great, and they decided to follow the Netflix money instead.
“David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers,” Kennedy said in a statement. “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.”
Some fans have gone online to accuse Kennedy of firing Benioff and Weiss — and blame Kennedy’s history of having creative differences with directors for the showrunners’ exit.
Even if there’s any truth to these fans’ theories and complaints, it’s still a blessing that they are no longer attached to the project. Beyond their self-admitted lack of experience when it came to creating GOT, they also rushed through the end of it once they realized that the opportunity to work on Star Wars was offered — resulting in shoddily written and produced episodes that were widely disliked by fans and critics.
And that is emblematic of the kind of work Benioff and Weiss are prone to. They will abandon the integrity of their project in order to pursue the next one — even when they lack the qualifications for it. And luckily, this happened with Star Wars before there was any damage done to the films themselves. If they had tried to create for Lucasfilms and Netflix concurrently, we’d have hours of content that felt like season eight of GOT: sloppy, disappointing, and not worth the money invested by the studio or the love invested by the fans.