'Game of Thrones' showrunners exit 'Star Wars' trilogy for Netflix

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss? These aren’t the directors you’re looking for … at least not for the next Star Wars trilogy, set to begin in 2022.

After cutting a deal with Lucasfilm in early 2018, the Game of Thrones showrunners have now stepped away from their commitment to the upcoming Disney-owned films.

The pair explained their decision to leave by citing the multi-year US$200-million deal they recently signed with Netflix, according to Variety.

In an official statement, Benioff, 49, and Weiss, 48, said: “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 newly established Netflix deal will have the filmmakers write, produce and direct original movies and TV series exclusively for the streaming giant.

READ MORE: ‘The Mandalorian’ trailer — Lucasfilm’s first-ever live-action series takes flight

The duo was partnered with HBO long before cutting their deal with Netflix, starting with the company ahead of Game of Thrones’ 2011 debut.

Before making the Netflix deal, however, Benioff and Weiss were enlisted in February 2018 by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to write and produce their own Star Wars series.

The Star Wars deal was made on the condition that Benioff and Weiss’ project would be separate from the soon-to-be-concluded Skywalker saga and an upcoming Star Wars trilogy written by Rian Johnson, the details of which have yet to be announced.

Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley is Rey and John Boyega is Finn in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.'

Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley is Rey and John Boyega is Finn in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.'

In their recent statement, Benioff and Weiss expressed their regrets: “We love Star Wars. When George Lucas built it, he built us, too. 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.”

READ MORE: ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Joseph Mawle cast as lead villain in ‘Lord of the Rings’ TV series

Meanwhile, Kennedy wished the pair well in their endeavours with Netflix. She didn’t rule out the possibility of them coming back for future Star Wars projects, either.

“David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible storytellers,” said Kennedy. “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.”

Though both parties expressed regret over the decision, many diehard Star Wars fans were pleased with the news and expressed their excitement on Twitter.

On the news, one user tweeted: “I feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out ‘Oh, thank f–king god.'”

READ MORE: ‘Star Wars’ fans invited to design droid for international contest

Some Star Wars fans were pleased with the development due to the conclusion of Game of Thrones, which aired earlier this year and left many in its fan base disappointed. In the wake of the Game of Thrones finale, some fans pinned the blame on Benioff and Weiss.

As a result, passionate Star Wars fans launched their own petition, which aimed to scare the showrunners away from working on any Star Wars films at all. As of this writing, the Change.org petition has more than 34,000 signatures.

Currently, it’s unclear whether Disney and Lucasfilm will continue with the Star Wars trilogy in question by finding a replacement director.

Global News has reached out to a representative of Disney seeking comment.

Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian in the Jon Favreau and Disney+ original 'Star Wars' series 'The Mandalorian,' which is set to premiere on Nov. 12, 2019.

Pedro Pascal as The Mandalorian in the Jon Favreau and Disney+ original 'Star Wars' series 'The Mandalorian,' which is set to premiere on Nov. 12, 2019.

Luscasfilm/Disney

So what’s next for Star Wars?

The Mandalorianthe Jon Favreau-directed Disney+ series — will debut on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 12:01 a.m. ET on the forthcoming streaming platform.

Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker will also see director J.J. Abrams return to the franchise after 2015’s critically acclaimed The Force Awakens.

It will be released in cinemas across Canada on Friday, Dec. 20. Tickets are now on sale.

You can watch trailers for both upcoming ‘Star Wars’ features in the video above.

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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