When the news recently broke that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss had signed a deal with Netflix rumored to be “in the 9-figure range, worth as much as $300 million, spanning 5 years,” many of us wondered how they could possibly find the time for their upcoming Star Wars films, which had been quietly announced just a few months beforehand. As it turns out, the answer is that they could not.
Deadline had the exclusive: the showrunners’ deal with Lucasfilm to create a new Star Wars trilogy, which was set to begin in 2022, is off due to their new Netflix deal:
“We love Star Wars,” David and Dan told Deadline. “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. 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.”
Meanwhile, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy wasn’t as final about it, insinuating they could eventually come back–when they have the time, that is: “David Benioff and Dan Weiss are incredible 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.”
In other news, Deborah Riley, production designer for Game of Thrones from season four onward, just did a really nice, technically-minded interview for Backstage magazine in which she discusses what her work as a production designer on the show means and, in retrospect, what her favorite designs and finished sets turned out to be:
“To this day, I still get quite emotional thinking about the Meereen audience chamber,” Riley says of her first big design project coming into season four. “I was very nervous about my position at that point. Then once that was built, it was like, ‘I’m going to be fine.’ It was a relief to survive. I’ll never forget that one for that. Before it was brought down, I went and said a little quiet goodbye to it because I was very fond of it.”
“Working all the way through to Dragonstone, I loved,” Riley says of the castle’s amazing throne room first seen in season seven. “Even what we did in Season 8, it was such an emotional experience not only in terms of the story we were telling but in terms of the art department. To build something and then destroy it, and to destroy this throne room that had been standing for so many years, I found it quite traumatic to do all of that.”
For a much deeper look at what her job entailed, read the whole interview at Backstage.