David Benioff and D.B. Weiss left fans of both the Game of Thrones and Star Wars franchises disappointed when they announced last week that they’d exited a forthcoming Star Wars project. The pair cited their deal to create new shows for Netflix but, Vanity Fair reports, there might have been more to the decision — and despite announcing their departure from the project in late October, they’d been planning to leave the Star Wars franchise since mid-August.
“Benioff and Weiss’s Star Wars exit had been in the works since August.” Vanity Fair reports, based on a story about the project’s downfall in The Hollywood Reporter. “THR affirms that the reason the two wound up walking away partially had to do with their Netflix deal — but another factor that prompted the decision, the trade adds, was ‘toxic fandom.'”
“Toxic fandom,” of course, refers to the habit fans have of objecting, aggressively, to decisions that showrunners and directors make when it comes to beloved series, like Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Fans of Game of Thrones reacted in a generally negative way towards the show’s final season, which packed at least two seasons’ worth of action into nine episodes, featured at least one epic battle filmed in a way that made it almost too dark to see, and did away with a beloved character by subjecting her to a shocking-yet-truncated character act that should have taken years to build.
Star Wars fans earned their own “toxic fandom” moniker after summarily rejecting Rian Johnson’s awful installment, “The Last Jedi,” a confusing, poorly produced, poorly written, and over-social-justice-d eighth episode in the Star Wars saga.
Although fans objected to both Game of Thrones’ final season and “The Last Jedi” for actal reasons, both the Game of Thrones and “Last Jedi” teams chose to assume that fans were simply turned off of masterpieces by their “woker” themes: in both cases, mostly an embrace of feminism.
Benioff and Weiss, experienced with “toxic fandom” say they feared how Star Wars fans might receive a more progressive project.
“As Benioff and Weiss watched Star Wars fans bully actors and directors,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, “they began to have doubts about whether they should dip their toes in as well. ‘Who wants to go through that again? Not them,'” The Hollywood Reporter’s source said, referring to Game of Thrones’ final season. “This was in the ‘Life’s Too Short’ category.”
Disney was, reportedly, also unhappy that Benioff and Weiss inked a deal with Netflix, now a streaming service competitior to Disney’s Disney+ platform, and, therefore, a competitor for eyeballs on the pair’s now-aborted Star Wars project.
Benioff and Weiss’s departure likely means an end to Disney Star Wars projects for now, other than Jon Favreau’s “The Mandalorian,” which premiers on Disney+ in a few weeks. The “Skywalker saga” will end with Episode 9, due out in December (the series’ “toxic fandom” is a bit gun-shy about that movie, though, and ticket sales are suffering accordingly).
As for Game of Thrones, well, that may be suffering because of “toxic fandom,” too. According to British tabloid magazine, The Sun, a planned Game of Thrones prequel series, called “Bloodmoon” was shelved, this week, over fears that the pilot was “too woke” for some viewers, with a host of lesbian characters and an exploration of the “mixed-race” Stark heritage.
More likely, though, the project was just too expensive for HBO, which has its pick of Game of Thrones scripts. The pilot for “Bloodmoon” was going to cost a staggering $60 million.