March 24, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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Earlier this week it was reported by Jeff Sneider for Above the Line that Damon Lindleof (Lost) and Justin Britt-Gibson (Into the Badlands), the writers behind the upcoming 2025 Star Wars movie, had exited the project they started working on over a year ago sometime in February after turning in a draft. At the time there was no details regarding the departure, but days later it was reported that Lucasfilm had already found a writer to pick up where Lindelof and Britt-Gibson left off in Peaky Blinders creator, Steven Knight.

Today, Jeff Sneider, the journalist who broke the Lindelof departure story, and who broke Lindelof was working on a Star Wars movie over a year ago, took to his podcast The Hot Mic alongside his co-host Jon Rocha, to share what they had heard regarding Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson exiting the next Star Wars movie. Sneider kicked things off by revealing that according to his sources, the draft that Lindelof and Britt-Gibson turned in to Lucasfilm was not good, and it seemed that Lucasfilm had no intention of working things out due to the quality of it. Sneider said:

The first thing that I heard, and this is from a very good source, is that the first draft [of Damon Lindelof’s script] was not good. If it was good then they’d find ways to work things out. So at first I heard that the draft wasn’t good, but the person who said that might be incentivised to say that. Anyway, I had heard that Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson did not know that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was being hired.” – Jeff Sneider

Sneider mentioned that Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson were unaware of the hiring of the projects director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who’s best known for her work on Disney’s Ms. Marvel series. Deadline reported in October last year that Obaid-Chinoy was hired early in development as Damon Lindleof wanted the directors vision to be implemented into the script. Jeff Sneider’s co-host, Jon Rocha, chimed in and added that he’d heard of friction between the two writers and the director, and stated the following:

Yesterday a source of mine text me and said that Kathleen Kennedy had chose Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy to direct the film without consulting Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson. Normally you’d say that’s all right as she runs the studio, but Damon Lindelof isn’t some staff writer you picked off of some show to come and write Star Wars – he is a well known creator with a record of success. So there should be some respect paid here and it seems like, at least according to my source, that Kathleen Kennedy didn’t give a shit about that and hired who she wanted. There was friction between the writers and the director, which is what led to them [Lindleof and Gibson] walking off the project.” – Jon Rocha

At the point of Lindelof and Britt-Gibson’s exit, Obaid-Chinoy had been on the project for at least four months. Jeff Sneider followed up on Rocha’s comments adding that he too heard of some potential friction between Lindelof, Britt-Gibson, and Obaid-Chinoy, adding that his sources questioned how anybody could have friction with the Lost writer, claiming that he’s a very nice person. Sneider went on to add that Steven Knight was hired swiftly to takeover writing duties on the Star Wars project, and added that it didn’t matter what Lindelof and Britt-Gibson had turned in, because Lucasfilm were ready to move onto a new writer, seemingly due to the friction between the creatives initially aboard the project.

They had Steven Knight ready to go and the fact that they announced him so soon, although it was mid February that they [Lindelof and Gibson] turned in their draft, Lucasfilm had six weeks to find a writer and who knows when Steven Knight was hired and how long he’s already been working on it. My source said to me that it didn’t really matter what was in that draft and it only wouldn’t matter if there was some friction – no matter what you [Lindelof and Britt-Gibson] turn in here, we’re going to move on to a different writer.” – Jeff Sneider

The picture that’s been painted by The Hot Mic hosts is that the draft that Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson had turned in wasn’t very good, and that Lucasfilm had no intention of working past the issues in the draft with the writers due to friction between Damon Lindleof, Justin Britt-Gibson, and the films director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. These reports are unconfirmed of course, but Jeff Sneider has a fantastic track record as a whole, but has specifically been insightful in regards to the 2025 Star Wars film.

The film which is now being written by Steven Knight will reportedly be set sometime after the events of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and will not be tied to the Skywalker saga. Lucasfilm are hoping to begin filming on the project in February and plan on officially announcing the film at Star Wars Celebration, which kicks off on April 7th. In addition to the film being formally announced, Lucasfilm will also reportedly announce the title of the Knight/Obaid-Chinoy flick, along with a brief synopsis.

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