Just as we were all bracing for a world where Game of Thrones show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were no longer in charge of a massive fantasy franchise that inspired both rabid adoration and polarizing criticism, the duo—who will say goodbye to Westeros in 2019—are saying hello to a galaxy far, far away. Lucasfilm announced Tuesday that Weiss and Benioff will write and produce an entire series of new Star Wars films. They will join Last Jedi director Rian Johnson—who snagged a similar multi-film deal—as the potential brain trust behind the future of the franchise.
This is good news, of course, for Weiss and Benioff devotees, as well as anyone curious to know what a big, shiny helmet would do to Kit Harington’s luscious head of curls. It’s also a natural fit; both Star Wars and Game of Thrones share the same casting director, Nina Gold, which is why a number of familiar Westerosi faces like Emilia Clarke and Gwendoline Christie have already shown up in the intergalactic franchise. Presumably, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams are eagerly sitting by their phones.
But this might also be disappointing news for those who have been yearning to see this multi-billion-dollar franchise broaden its talent pool beyond straight, white filmmakers. Although its recent films have boasted intrepid female leads like Rey, Rogue One’s Jyn Erso, and, presumably, Clarke’s Qi'Ra in Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm has yet to hire anyone other than a white man to write or direct one of their feature films. Though we should note that Kiri Hart runs Lucasfilm’s story group, which is at the center of all its operations and, to the evident frustration of some of the white men she has hired, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has the final and definitive say on everything.
“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” Kennedy said in an announcement. “Their command of complex characters, depth of story, and richness of mythology will break new ground and boldly push Star Wars in ways I find incredibly exciting.” Of course, no small part of Game of Thrones’ world-building success is attributable to series author George R.R. Martin—though Weiss and Benioff still delivered their most highly rated episodes of television yet last year, working beyond Martin’s source material. But Season 7 also stood out to some critics as narratively shaky. The duo have had their struggles in feature films as well; Benioff’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine script was largely panned, and Weiss had difficulty getting adaptations of Ender’s Game, the video game Halo, and I Am Legend off the ground.
We’re still years away from actually seeing a Weiss and Benioff Star Wars, so it’s far too early to judge what their version of a space saga will hold. The pair were firm in their statement that no work will begin on Star Wars until “the final season of Game of Thrones is complete.” But if these two are about to throw themselves into the all-consuming talk of planning multipleStar Wars movies, what will happen to their poorly received idea to launch an alternate-history slavery drama, Confederate, on HBO? As of last month, HBO chief Casey Bloyssaid Weiss and Benioff were “still talking (about Confederate).” Whether that talk has landed on the conclusion that perhaps it’s best to quietly kill Confederate before it gets going, well—I heard a rumor that in space, no one can hear a mercy-killed project scream.
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