J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan Take Over Writing Duties on ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’

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Disney and Lucasfilm fill out the rest of the technical team behind the next installment of the franchise; actors still to be announced

J.J. Abrams and “Star Wars” veteran Lawrence Kasdan have taken over screenwriting duties on “Star Wars: Episode VII,” replacing “Toy Story 3”-scribe Michael Arndt, who was originally hired to pen the project.

“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. “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.”

Disney and Lucasfilm released the news on StarWars.com.

The companies announced Arndt (whose credits also include “Little Miss Sunshine”) was hired on the project in November 2012, an announcement they also made on StarWars.com. To land the job, Arndt wrote a 40- to 50-page treatment for the film.

Shooting on “Episode VII” is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.

Kasdan had been serving as a consultant on the film, and has had a long relationship with Lucasfilm, having written the screenplays for “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and co-written “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.”

The screenwriter was brought on last fall by George Lucas to write and produce future installments of the “Star Wars” saga. Simon Kinberg is also developing upcoming “Star Wars” pics to produce.

Disney and Lucasfilm added that location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on “Episode VII” with Dan Mindel (“Mission: Impossible III,” “Star Trek,” “Star Trek Into Darkness”) serving as director of photography; and Rick Carter (“Lincoln,” “Avatar”) and Darren Gilford (“Oblivion,” “Tron: Legacy”) as production designers.

Michael Kaplan (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) serves as costume designer, while Chris Corbould (“Skyfall,” “The Dark Knight Rises”) will serve as special effects supervisor, with Roger Guyett (“Star Trek Into Darkness” and “Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith”) as visual effects supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic.

“Star Wars” franchise vet Ben Burtt returns as sound designer, with Gary Rydstrom (“Jurassic Park”) tapped as re-recording mixer and Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood (“Star Trek Into Darkness”) as supervising sound editor.

Kennedy, Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.

John Williams is returning to the series to score the soundtrack.

Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios, in the U.K., for an expected 2015 release.

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  1. jj says:

    the prequels made the world of star wars so small, cheap looking and video gamey. terrible, terrible films.

  2. Bob Smith says:

    The worst about this is Lindelof will likely get his shitty hands on it since he and Abrams are butt buddies.

  3. randy says:

    Hello, I’m not a big fan of jjs work and wish they would hire Vincent Gilligan

  4. Kevin Seddon says:

    Awesome cmection of talents to bring this new era of Star Wars to us! I cant wait, I just hope it holds the real connection we have with 4, 5 and 6! There was far too much CGI in the 1,2 and 3 episodes! If they get the balnce right we’re in for a treat!

  5. Star Wars now like James Bond film series. Same old plot recycled over and over with different villains.

  6. I am Landru says:

    What’s next for JJ? A Star Trek meets Star Wars, where Disney and Paramount split the rights so the film can get made? This is sick. JJ has diluted Star Trek into a Skin Flick, with no emotion. All because Sex sells. Star Trek is about asking questions, Gene Roddenberry would be sad at what his creation has turned into! Star Wars is Space Cowboys, but Mr. Abrams will try to sex-it up too! Like Leia in Return of the Jedi, on Steroids! JJ has NO SHAME! Star Trek and Star Wars are RUINED FOREVER!

    • Eric says:

      Shut yer yap. There is no one more suited to take on Episode VII than JJ Abrams. And Start Trek? He took a franchise that was on life support and made it interesting and exciting again. Please.

      • Natticus says:

        Life support? If only! Nemesis was so bad it was like Star Trek was begging for a mercy-killing! Trekkers should kneel at the altar of Abrams, Into Darkness had its flaws but without J.J. Star Trek would be a thing of the past. He also had the decency to set the whole thing on a parallel timeline, making it so the story can be all new without destroying canon.

  7. Kelly says:

    Shoulda been Patton Oswalt. :)

  8. Chrisez says:

    Oh God! Been there, done that on a screenplay!!!

  9. LRO says:

    Amazing and incredible?

  10. Brian Dzyak says:

    Three movies too late, but thank god!

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