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'Game of Thrones' creators withdraw from 'Star Wars' trilogy

David Benioff and DB Weiss said they were 'regretfully stepping away' from the upcoming trio of movies in the blockbuster space saga, the first of which was originally scheduled for release in 2022.

FILE: DB Weiss (L) and David Benioff present the Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year onstage at the 2018 British Academy Britannia Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on 26 October 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. Picture: AFP

NEW YORK - The creators of Game of Thrones have pulled out of making a Star Wars trilogy because the pair want to focus on their Netflix work, dealing a blow to Disney.

David Benioff and DB Weiss said they were "regretfully stepping away" from the upcoming trio of movies in the blockbuster space saga, the first of which was originally scheduled for release in 2022.

"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," they said in a statement sent to US media.

The duo were due to write and produce the trilogy, which was to be distinct from the adventures of Luke Skywalker and his family that drove the first three trilogies.

It's a bumper time for Star Wars fans.

The ninth installment of the Star Wars saga - The Rise of Skywalker directed by JJ Abrams - is due out in mid-December.

Another series of Star Wars movies is also being put together by Rian Johnson, who directed The Last Jedi in 2017.

And in September, Disney announced that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige would make a Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm, the subsidiary of Disney that owns the sci-fi franchise.

Benioff and Weiss signed a reported $250 million, five-year deal with Netflix in August, 18 months after they agreed to produce the Star Wars trilogy for Disney.

The Netflix deal came as the streaming giant spends huge amounts of money to fend off competition from other on-demand services, including the soon-to-be-launched Disney+.

The Star Wars franchise has been a massive moneymaker for Disney since it acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. The four films released since then raked in almost $5 billion in global box office sales.

Following the relative failure of the stand-alone film Solo in 2018, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger announced he wanted to slow down the pace at which Star Wars films are released.

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