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J.J. Abrams explains taking over Star Wars: Episode VII writing duties from Michael Arndt

11.07.2013by:

When news broke that Oscar winner Michael Arndt was being replaced as screenwriter on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII by J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, rumblings began to grow surrounding a potential troubled production on the first film in the new trilogy. Now, Abrams has broken the silence and explained why the change in writers has occurred.

During a conference call for Abrams upcoming FOX series ALMOST HUMAN, the producer and director shared this reason for the change.

“It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be. Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable,”

The timeframe of 2015 has been the subject of debate recently as well. Some sources have pointed to Lucasfilm and Abrams asking Disney to delay STAR WARS: EPISODE VII to 2016 and the studio refused. The EPISODE VII release date was announced immediately when the House of Mouse bought Lucasfilm last year and they are sticking to it.

Arndt was said to be a good way into the story for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII and with the tight schedule before filming begins next year precipitated the change. But, that doesn't mean Arndt left for good.

"Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process. [This] doesn’t preclude working with Michael again in the future.” Abrams added, “he is one of the best writers around.”

Abrams and Kasdan are currently only working on STAR WARS: EPISODE VII which means Arndt could already be on his way to writing EPISODE VIII or IX. Arndt's credentials speak for themselves as he has written LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE, TOY STORY 3, and THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE. Hopefully he comes back, but like Abrams said, it could be worse for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII than having the man who wrote THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK at your side.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII opens in 2015.

Source: Deadline

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2:36PM on 11/08/2013
This is why I don't like this guy... he can't just stop doing PR and focus on working on Star Wars... like every day there's a new interview or conference with him, he juggles way too much to have my confidence.
This is why I don't like this guy... he can't just stop doing PR and focus on working on Star Wars... like every day there's a new interview or conference with him, he juggles way too much to have my confidence.
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5:38PM on 11/08/2013
I agree and like your profile pic.
I agree and like your profile pic.
-2
7:53AM on 11/08/2013
Kasdan wasn't writing in enough lens flares.......
Kasdan wasn't writing in enough lens flares.......
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5:46PM on 11/08/2013
"Larry, can you somehow make it so Luke and Han bump into eachother on Hoth so we can have a scene with Hayden as they watch Darth Vader 2.0 blow up Bespin? Thanks"
"Larry, can you somehow make it so Luke and Han bump into eachother on Hoth so we can have a scene with Hayden as they watch Darth Vader 2.0 blow up Bespin? Thanks"
11:58PM on 11/07/2013
Honestly I'm fine with it, lets everyone relax.
Honestly I'm fine with it, lets everyone relax.
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8:36PM on 11/07/2013
Things like this happen all the time on movies; it's getting blown out of proportion because this is Star Wars.
Things like this happen all the time on movies; it's getting blown out of proportion because this is Star Wars.
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7:26PM on 11/07/2013
Really? People bitching because the guy who wrote the the best Star Wars movie is writing this one ?
Really? People bitching because the guy who wrote the the best Star Wars movie is writing this one ?
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4:16PM on 11/07/2013

BS Detector

I'm not saying I know what's really going here - I definitely don't. All I *do* know is with literally billions at stake in franchise revenue over the next decade - all these statements are being curated and shaped by PR departments. Clearly, these aren't the droids we're looking for.
I'm not saying I know what's really going here - I definitely don't. All I *do* know is with literally billions at stake in franchise revenue over the next decade - all these statements are being curated and shaped by PR departments. Clearly, these aren't the droids we're looking for.
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4:19PM on 11/07/2013
Or lending credibility to this new franchise? Williams, Hamill, Fisher, Kasdan, etc.
Or lending credibility to this new franchise? Williams, Hamill, Fisher, Kasdan, etc.
3:55PM on 11/07/2013

Won't do it much good.

Based on his previous attempts at revisiting franchises it'll make Phantom Menace look like Empire Strikes Back by comparison. Fett's showing up, or a flashback with Vader (they paid 4 billion for that dude), maybe the Emperor reaching out from the netherabyss to a minion in Luke's school (hey it worked for Harry Potter). It'll look good, but Kasdan or not it's JJ in the seat and we'll get a JJ movie. Seeing old Spock in Star Trek worked out really well, didn't it?
Based on his previous attempts at revisiting franchises it'll make Phantom Menace look like Empire Strikes Back by comparison. Fett's showing up, or a flashback with Vader (they paid 4 billion for that dude), maybe the Emperor reaching out from the netherabyss to a minion in Luke's school (hey it worked for Harry Potter). It'll look good, but Kasdan or not it's JJ in the seat and we'll get a JJ movie. Seeing old Spock in Star Trek worked out really well, didn't it?
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1:03PM on 11/08/2013
Wow! 33 down votes! People do not like to hear the truth.

I have to agree with what you're saying. I find JJ Abrams is a highly overrated director and writer. I feel if this wsa left in his hands it would rely too much on nostalgia for the plotting of the movie (how do I incorporate Darth Vader? Because I always wanted to do a story with Vader as the villain) rather than coming up with something new. However, since Lucasfilm also has Michael Kasdan working on the script, hopefully
Wow! 33 down votes! People do not like to hear the truth.

I have to agree with what you're saying. I find JJ Abrams is a highly overrated director and writer. I feel if this wsa left in his hands it would rely too much on nostalgia for the plotting of the movie (how do I incorporate Darth Vader? Because I always wanted to do a story with Vader as the villain) rather than coming up with something new. However, since Lucasfilm also has Michael Kasdan working on the script, hopefully he'll be steered towards doing something new and creative with this story.
5:44PM on 11/08/2013
JJ has done nothing yet to prove otherwise to stand on his own two feet when handling franchises. He bungled Star Trek horribly...he couldn't even handle an 'homage' well (that last scene is the nail in that film's coffin). It just seems like he'd rather shoot cool shots over focusing on anything really story related or progressing, just how to get to that next cool shot. The Trek fans I know (I'm by no means a dignitary for Trek fans everywhere) felt the same way, and Star Wars fans (again,
JJ has done nothing yet to prove otherwise to stand on his own two feet when handling franchises. He bungled Star Trek horribly...he couldn't even handle an 'homage' well (that last scene is the nail in that film's coffin). It just seems like he'd rather shoot cool shots over focusing on anything really story related or progressing, just how to get to that next cool shot. The Trek fans I know (I'm by no means a dignitary for Trek fans everywhere) felt the same way, and Star Wars fans (again, only who I know) voice similar concerns. I think there is a major age gap when it comes to this, fans in their 30s-40s and the fans who grew up with the prequels. My -33 opinion is just my opinion, I'm still going to watch this travesty; its just an opinion I base purely on his treatment of Into Darkness which made Star Trek V look like a masterpiece.
+8
3:27PM on 11/07/2013
It sounds like Arndt left not because he wasn't doing a good job, but he wasn't working fast enough. While I'm concerned that they're obviously rushing production, Abrams does come from TV, so he's used to churning out good work under a tight schedule. I suspect this will turn out okay in the end.
It sounds like Arndt left not because he wasn't doing a good job, but he wasn't working fast enough. While I'm concerned that they're obviously rushing production, Abrams does come from TV, so he's used to churning out good work under a tight schedule. I suspect this will turn out okay in the end.
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12:57PM on 11/08/2013
Good work? He was only the showrunner full-time on one show. And that was Alias. His other shows all faltered, sure Lost was good up until he left as showrunner and than that wobbled around for a few years before completely collapsing in the final episode. Then there were his other shows, Fringe that got cancelled for poor viewings (albeit after 5 seasons), then there was Undercover (the show about the couple who are spies) that was cancelled after a few episodes. The rest of the shows
Good work? He was only the showrunner full-time on one show. And that was Alias. His other shows all faltered, sure Lost was good up until he left as showrunner and than that wobbled around for a few years before completely collapsing in the final episode. Then there were his other shows, Fringe that got cancelled for poor viewings (albeit after 5 seasons), then there was Undercover (the show about the couple who are spies) that was cancelled after a few episodes. The rest of the shows with his name tied to them he has nothing to do with, like Revolution (crap), Person of Interest (meh), and Almost Human (we'll see). He's serving as showrunner on absolutely none of those and is completely hands off, understandable given his other projects. But to say Abrams will turn out a quality film in a tight time frame because he worked in TV is absolutely no guarantee.
5:58PM on 11/08/2013
MickLoud just dropped a logic bomb.
MickLoud just dropped a logic bomb.
3:12PM on 11/07/2013

In EMPIRE we trust

At this point JJ has to be in complete control of this project. Last thing we need is a bunch of cooks in the kitchen messing with his movie mojo. And who better to aid him in script duties than the guy who helped make EMPIRE the best in the franchise. I want the classic original characters to support the next generation of Jedi and sith. Old meets new is the right blend to appease all fans. Can't wait for the first trailer.
At this point JJ has to be in complete control of this project. Last thing we need is a bunch of cooks in the kitchen messing with his movie mojo. And who better to aid him in script duties than the guy who helped make EMPIRE the best in the franchise. I want the classic original characters to support the next generation of Jedi and sith. Old meets new is the right blend to appease all fans. Can't wait for the first trailer.
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