Gloom. Despair. Agony. Ewoks. The news broke today that screenwriter Michael Arndt was leaving Star Wars: Episode VII and that he will be replaced by director J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan, the man who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.
Now, Kasdan is a solid replacement – I mean, he did script the best Star Wars movie of all time, but then again, he also created the Ewoks. However, this raises a ton of questions – such as why did Michael Arndt leave the project? Here is what producer Kathleen Kennedy said:
“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.”
One thing about this is slightly discouraging. I will let Quint of Ain’t it Cool News explain what that thing is:
I’ve heard from sources that those who read Arndt’s EpVII draft thought it was pure Star Wars and fantastic. Apparently Abrams disagreed.
— Eric Vespe (@EricVespe) October 24, 2013
Yeah, that kind of sucks. Now, I am a fan of JJ Abrams and do not agree with the Trekkies who hate him for what he did to Star Trek. What I think he did to Star Trek was turn it into the best Star Trek movies ever made for people who aren’t Trekkies – you know, the kind of people who love Star Wars.
With that said, Devin Faraci of Bad Ass Digest reported a while back that the movie was facing problems meeting its 2015 release date because JJ Abrams was starting from scratch. This exit of Arndt, and the new writing team getting started, proves that Faraci’s scoop was pretty legit.
So, now what? I don’t know. Kasdan hasn’t wrote a big budget movie since Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher adaptation and the stink of that one marked his end (outside of the 2012 indie Darling Companion). Then again, he also wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, so in my eyes, that will always be a Get Out of Jail Free card.
Will it make the 2015 release date? The force is not strong in this one.
Source: Slash Filmby