We’re coming up on the first anniversary in just a few days of our first hearing the news that George Lucas had sold his Lucasfilm production company to Disney and that the House of Mouse was going to be embarking on a new series of Star Wars films. One of the first solid pieces of news about the new trilogy was that writer Michael Arndt was supplying the screenplay. Now, however, it looks like he may be sharing his screenwriting credit with writer Lawrence Kasdan and the film’s director J J Abrams.
A posting on StarWars.com made the announcement today in which they quote Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy as saying –
I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script. There are very few people who fundamentally understand the way a Star Wars story works like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him even more deeply involved in its return to the big screen. J.J. of course is an incredible storyteller in his own right. Michael Arndt has done a terrific job bringing us to this point and we have an amazing filmmaking and design team in place already prepping for production.
Kasdan, of course, worked in the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi in addition to Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Silverado and a number of other films. Kasdan is also writing one of the “solo” Star Wars films that will be released between installments of the new trilogy. That he is at work on the screenplay for Episode VII is nothing but reassuring as to the quality of the story being told.
Devin Faraci at Badass Digest is reporting that Kasdan and Abrams may be starting from scratch and that this news fits in on what he reported back in July that Abrams was upset with various aspects of the production. The result is that Kasdan and Abrams have embarked on a complete stem-to-stern rewrite that will feature “a whole new set of characters being followed than in the Arndt script.”
The news that the film’s screenplay is still undergoing work does explain the lack of concrete news about casting or much of anything else, given that the film was supposed to be start shooting early next year. But according to the announcement from Lucasfilm, shooting has now been pushed back a few months into the spring. Which leads to another question – Will the film still make its planned summer 2015 release or will it get pushed back to later in the year? Or will worse come to worse and Disney will miss its planned 2015 release year altogether, despite their continual insistence that the film will be released that year?