While Michael Arndt currently labors away of the first installment of Lucasfilm/Disney’s new Star Wars trilogy, the studio has locked down screenwriters for the other two episodes – Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg,
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the two writers have finalized deals to write and produce Episodes VIII and IX, though the trade does note that “their exact division of responsibilities is yet to be determined.” Disney and Lucasfilm have yet to make an official comment on the news.
Kasdan is no stranger to franchise, first having done drafts of The Empire Strikes Back after initial script writer Leigh Brackett passed away. He was brought on to the project by George Lucas, after having impressed the franchise’s creator with his work on Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Kasdan also authored the Return Of The Jedi script from Lucas’s original storyline. And as an old school Star Wars fan, I find this is the single most exciting and best piece of news to have come out about the new trilogy yet.
Kinberg is a relative newcomer, but he does have some decent genre credits already, having served as a producer on X-Men: First Class and scripting its upcoming sequel Days Of Future Past.
It’s hard to find fault with either selection, but the news about Kasdan is exceptionally exciting. The Empire Strikes Back is considered by all sane Star Wars fans as the best installment of the franchise and his involvement can only bode well for things.
But the fact that Lucasfilm is looking to already get started on the scripts for the next two installments before the first one has even been finalized is interesting unto itself. Is the studio looking to further develop all three films simultaneously as well? And if so, does that mean that they are looking for one director for all three? Will all three shoot simultaneously as well? That seems like a strong possibility given that Disney wants to release these films every other year or so starting in 2015.