Those holding out (a new) hope for the upcoming Star Wars sequels have been dealt a blow. Though Toy Story scribe Michael Arndt reached for the sky with his Episode VII script, he's now been relieved of his duties, putting the seventh Star Wars film's intended 2015 release into question. I have a bad feeling about this.
Director J.J Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (co-writer on The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) "have assumed script writing duties for the film", according to StarWars.com. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy had this to say of the announcement.
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.
Kennedy puts a positive spin on the news -- and, for fans of the series, it is mostly positive, what with the series pedigree Kasdan can offer. However, the story rounds off with the ominous news that the film is now "expected" in 2015. Though it's not necessarily a galaxy far, far away from the original 2015 date, if it's a major rewrite on the cards don't be surprised if the new film slips from the series's traditional summer blockbuster slot to a winter one instead, or even further back. [Star Wars]