Lawrence Kasdan and J.J. Abrams take over writing Star Wars: Episode VII from Michael Arndt
Trouble in Disneyland? After what seemed like a smooth pre-production, Lucasfilm has dropped the news that STAR WARS: EPISODE VII scribe Michael Arndt is off the project. Director J.J. Abrams and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK writer Lawrence Kasdan are taking over.
There is little explanation as to why Arndt has been let go, but this doesn't have to mean the movie is in trouble. It is very common practice for movies to be written and rewritten various times before the finished product is filmed, but the word choice in Lucasfilm honcho Kathleen Kennedy's statement doesn't sound like it was a smooth transition:
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.
There is no mention of a completed draft or anything of the like. Michael Arndt is an Oscar-winning writer for LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and was nominated for TOY STORY 3. He cowrote Joseph Kosinski's OBLIVION but has no other science fiction credits to his name. We all know J.J. Abrams background with the genre and Kasdan is the man we have all considered the reason for THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK being as good as it is. With George Lucas already providing an outline for the story, I don't think it will be that hard to pick up where Arndt left off, but where exactly did he leave off?
STAR WARS: EPISODE VII is slated to begin filming in London in just a few months. Does this raise any red flags for anyone? Hopefully they decide to choose quality over the already announced 2015 release date if things don't get back on track soon.