The new series will be separate from the main episodic Skywalker saga that started with “Star Wars: A New Hope” and is slated to wrap up with 2019’s “Star Wars: Episode IX.” It will also exist independently from a Rian Johnson-helmed series that was announced last year.
“David and Dan are some of the best storytellers working today,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, in a statement. “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.”
It also comes at a time of transition for Benioff and Weiss. “Game of Thrones,” their sprawling fantasy epic, will end its run on HBO in 2019. The show has been a massive hit for the premium cabler and has been hailed by fanboys and critics alike for its ability to mix spectacle and political wrangling. “Game of Thrones” is adapted from George R.R. Martin’s book series of the same name.
Benioff and Weiss previously announced that they were developing another series for HBO called “Confederate.” However, that show generated a great deal of controversy over its plotline — it’s an alternate history series that imagines that the American Civil war ended in a stalemate and slavery remains legal — which some deemed insensitive. HBO declined to comment on the future of that series.
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“In the summer of 1977 we traveled to a galaxy far, far away, and we’ve been dreaming of it ever since,” Benioff and Weiss said in a joint statement. “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.”
In 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm, the company behind the “Star Wars” series, for more than $4 billion. Since that time, the studio has been exploring novel ways to extend a galaxy far, far away beyond the Skywalker family’s struggles and to maximize their investment. In addition to a new trilogy that unites familiar characters such as Luke Skywalker with new Jedi warriors, the studio has backed standalone spinoff films such as “Rogue One” and next summer’s “Solo,” a look at the early years of Han Solo.
Disney did not give a timeline for when these new Benioff and Weiss-penned films will hit theaters. On an earnings call, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that the two men had approached the studio with an idea a while ago. Even though the duo made their name in television, Iger said they were not interested in doing something on the small screen.
“Their interest was in creating a series of films that are ‘Star Wars’ based,” said Iger. “To my knowledge they didn’t express interest about a series.”
Iger was mum on any plot details except to say that the writers and producers are “…focused on a point of time in the ‘Star Wars’ mythology.”
Benioff and Weiss are repped by CAA, Management 360, and attorney Gretchen Rush.