David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Reveal Their Canceled Movie Was About the First Jedi


Summary

  • Game of Thrones creators, Benioff and Weiss, revealed their shelved Star Wars film would have been called The First Jedi and explored the origins of the Jedi Order.
  • Their friend Rian Johnson’s film, The Last Jedi, frustrated them because it destroyed their obvious title for their project.
  • Lucasfilm ultimately decided not to pursue their First Jedi story, leading Benioff and Weiss to exit the project and sign a multi-year deal with Netflix.


Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and Dan Weiss have revealed what their Star Wars film would’ve been about had the project not been shelved by Lucasfilm. During a chat with The Hollywood Reporter promoting their new Netflix project 3 Body Problem, the duo revealed that their Star Wars movie would’ve been The First Jedi and, as Benioff puts it, would’ve been about, “Basically, how the Jedi Order came to be, why it came to be, the first lightsaber…” However, Weiss playfully expresses frustration when their friend Rian Johnson, director of The Last Jedi, “destroyed” their title.

“And we were annoyed as hell when [Rian Johnson, the duo’s longtime friend and 3 Body Problem [producer] called his movie The Last Jedi. He completely destroyed the obvious title for what we were working on.”

In 2018, Disney announced that Benioff and Weiss would write and produce a new series of Star Wars films after the conclusion of Game of Thrones in 2019. By August, the duo negotiated an exclusive multi-year film and television deal with Netflix that was reportedly worth $200 million. Per their commitments to Netflix, the pair exited their contract to produce their Star Wars film, but Benioff provides more details as to what went wrong with the project they were pitching:

“[Lucasfilm] ended up not wanting to do a First Jedi story. We had a very specific story idea in mind, and they ultimately decided they didn’t want to do that. And we totally get it. It’s their company and their IP, but we weren’t the droids they were looking for.”

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Star Wars projects have frequently been announced and later canceled

Lucasfilm announcing and then canceling Star Wars projects is no big surprise. Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was announced to be helming a one-off adventure Star Wars film in 2020 called Rogue Squadron, which was set to be the next movie on their docket. However, in 2022, Disney pulled the film from its scheduled Dec. 2023 release date and later revealed that it was no longer in active development at the studio.

Marvel boss Kevin Feige was also expected to helm a Star Wars project that was announced in 2019. Fans even began to speculate that this was a subtle move to put him in line to replace Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy, but that proved not to be the case. Feige’s Star Wars project was still alive in 2022 when screenwriter Michael Waldron, who penned Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and is doing the same for what may still be Avengers: The Kang Dynasty, was said to be working on Feige’s Jedi adventure. After Waldron was hired to take on more Marvel projects, the Star Wars news subsided, and it was eventually announced that his project wasn’t moving forward either.

Even though their Star Wars project never came to be, their sci-fi epic 3 Body Problem looks to be one of the riskiest endeavors yet for Benioff and Weiss. The series is an adaptation of Liu Cixin’s Remembrance of Earth’s Past book trilogy, which details humanity’s efforts to survive an impending invasion from alien forces that are fleeing from a dying planet. The book trilogy became very popular in China in 2008 and was ultimately translated and released in the United States to even more fanfare.

3 Body Problem premieres March 21st on Netflix, and you can check out the trailer below.



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