Director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan have replaced Michael Arndt as the writers of Star Wars Episode VII. Kasdan, the writer of The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of The Jedi and The Raiders of the Lost Ark (and many other non-Lucasfilm movies) was previously a ‘consultant’ on the film – now he’s penning the script. That’s good news, as Kasdan helped build the Star Wars universe – if there’s anyone who had bring that old-fashioned spark to Episode VII, then it’s him. His work on Empire (with the late Leigh Brackett) is exquisite. This is what Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had to say:
“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.”
A press release on the Star Wars website states ‘shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release’ – the words ‘scheduled’ and ‘expected’ implies that these dates may be in flux – especially if the rumours of a page-one rewrite are true. Meanwhile, much of the technical crew for the film has been announced (see the press release below). Now all we need is word on the film’s cast.
“As Episode VII continues pre-production, Lawrence Kasdan and director J.J. Abrams have assumed screenwriting duties for the film. Kasdan, who has been serving as a consultant on the film, is a veteran of several classic Lucasfilm productions, writing the screenplay for Raiders of the Lost Ark and serving as co-screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Acclaimed director and screenwriter Abrams’ credits include Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Fringe, and Lost. Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on Episode VII. A team of gifted artists are working to bring the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, including director of photography Dan Mindel (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness), production designers Rick Carter (Lincoln, Avatar, Forrest Gump) and Darren Gilford (Oblivion, TRON: Legacy), costume designer Michael Kaplan (Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Fight Club),special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall,The Dark Knight Rises, Inception), sound designer Ben Burtt (Lincoln, Wall-E, Star Wars: Episodes I-VI), re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story, Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol), supervising sound editor Matthew Wood (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Master, There Will Be Blood) of Skywalker Sound, and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett (Star Trek Into Darkness, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith) of Industrial Light & Magic. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin,War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII. Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.”
Source: Star Wars