I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy in a statement posted on the “Star Wars” site. “There are very few people who fundamentally understand the ‘Star Wars’ story like Larry, and it is nothing short of incredible to have him more deeply involved in its return to the big screen.
Abrams and Kasdan take over for Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt. In Thursday’s statement, Kenned also praised the “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3” screenwriter, saying
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.
The announcement provided no details on the change. But its emphasis on Kasdan’s involvement and his “fundamental understanding” of “Star Wars” suggests the “Episode VII” script will undergo a substantial rewriting. That said, multiple and extensive rewrites are not uncommon within the industry, particularly for blockbuster projects with high profiles.
Of course, Kasdan is well known to fans of the “Star Wars” universe. He co-wrote “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi,” considered to be the two strongest films in the series. Kasdan has been working on some of the stand-alone “Star Wars” movies in the works. He has also been serving as a consultant for “Episode VII.”
“Star Wars: Episode VII" is scheduled to begin filming in spring 2014, at London’s Pinewood Studios, for a 2015 release.