OK, don’t push the panic button yet, but maybe a little bit of uh oh if you’re a hardcore “Star Wars” fan and you demand to see “Star Wars: Episode VII” in theaters summer 2015 as “promised” (read: the intended, hopeful date—shit happens). And yes, because Disney/LucasFilm/Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J Abrams did not deign to reveal “Stars Wars: Episode VII” news at Comic-Con 2013 or at the D23 Expo in Anaheim, rumors have popped up for months saying ‘Ep VII’ wouldn’t be ready for summer 2015.
Well, now that rumor is now looking more and more credible as “Star Wars: Episode VII” has suddenly changed writers. Celebrated Pixar scribe Michael Arndt (“Toy Story 3,” “Brave,” “Little Miss Sunshine“), who is known for a persuavsive screenwriting talk he made about the storytelling power of the “Star Wars” series is no longer writing the screenplay. According to breaking news by StarWars.com, Arndt has been replaced by Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams himself. Kasdan (who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return Of The Jedi“) of course, was hired to help out with ideas on “Episode VII” and also pen some of the “Star Wars” spin-off films (along with “X-Men” scribe Simon Kinberg).
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” states Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “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.”
Popular on IndieWire
So what’s going on exactly? Why the switch? More as we have it… In the meantime, speculation? Arndt probably has handed in a draft by now, which probably means Abrams and Kennedy didn’t love it. They’re obviously in constant communication with Kasdan and their core writing team, so perhaps through those conversations, the director and writer decided they were on the same page as it were. I’m sure we’ll be finding out very, very soon exactly what happened, but that’s our educated guess.
Oh, and according to the site, they are sticking to the original release date and are gonna have a fairly tight turn around time (at least in terms of heavy vfx and all that which usually needs a year plus padding). “Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.”