UPDATED 8:05 p.m. ET: Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson says the episode she made the comments on is being pulled. "Some rumors and conjecture I had heard and chatted about informally on one of my Patreon-supported podcasts has been wildly misrepresented on Reddit," she wrote on Twitter. "What I said does NOT meet the standard of any actual reporting, I was not speaking for my outlet."
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Last year it was reported that David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the showrunners behind Game of Thrones, had signed on for a trilogy of Star Wars films. Information regarding their involvement in the projects, which they were set to write and produce, had been minimal since the announcement. This week, it was revealed the two were no longer involved.
"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," Weiss and Benioff said in a joint statement.
In a Patreon-only episode of The Storm podcast, Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson said she heard from sources that the duo were let go months ago, shortly after the divisive GoT series finale aired, and just before their Netflix deal, contrary to their statement. "I heard from some Disney folk that they were wondering, 'Do you think the backlash is flash-in-the-pan or here to stay?'" Robinson revealed, referring to the internet outrage at how Benioff and Weiss handled the GoT finale.
The "toxicity" around GoT's finale combined with the anger around Star Wars: The Last Jedi was cited as a possible reason for their departure, as Disney allegedly wanted to avoid upsetting even more fans. "Weiss and Benioff were removed from the franchise over the summer, before they made their deal with Netflix," Robinson said. "My understanding is this was a soft firing and they didn't announce it, to allow Weiss and Benioff to shop themselves around."
The company quietly removed them from Star Wars in May in order to allow them to shop their talents around, eventually landing on a deal with Netflix worth upwards of $200 million in August. "The timing of it is very suspicious," she added.
Robinson also suggested Benioff and Weiss' recent comments about removing some of the fantasy elements from GoT in order to appeal to more than just hardcore fans sped up Disney's announcement. Robinson reiterated that the firing happened a long time before the panel, though. When Game of Thrones Season 8 premiered earlier this year, it was met with negative reviews from fans and critics alike.