A week ago, we found out that Disney-Lucasfilm had chosen screenwriters Simon Kinberg and Lawrence Kasdan -- who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi -- to write the final two installments of the new Star Wars trilogy. While it had seemed all but confirmed at the time, StarWars.com (which had confirmed Michael Arndt as the writer of Episode VII) never had an official announcement. Maybe because Kasdan and Kinberg weren't hired to write those sequels after all. Instead, they will be taking on different projects with Star Wars characters that would better be described as spinoffs than sequels. So, per last week's post: Never mind!
This is all part of Disney-Lucasfilm's big plans to create a whole Star Wars franchise of movies, similar to Marvel (also owned by Disney) and The Avengers, with new films every year (possibly) featuring different tales from different parts of the Star Wars universe. In the meantime, the other Episodes will still happen, most likely tying together the separate stories (à la Iron Man, Captain America, etc. and The Avengers) that it appears that Kasdan and Kinberg might be working on. That's all just a guess, but as a fan fiction connoisseur, I find this to be a super fun subject of speculation. Like how it might be entirely possible that Boba Fett gets his own movie.
Photo credit: Juan Fernandez
Lawrence Kasdan & Simon Kinberg Writing Star Wars Spin-Offs Instead? [Superhero Hype]
That didn't take long: within one month, we got all of our screenwriters lined up for the new Disney-Lucasfilm Star Wars trilogy, and one of them is a pretty reliable man for the job. As we reported earlier, Michael Arndt will be taking Episode VII, and now it's being reported that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg will take on Episodes VIII and IX, though it's unspecified who will take which script. If you recall, Kasdan wrote both Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and if I may make a wild prediction, I'm going to call the final episode for him. Let the veteran round out the new trilogy. Kinberg is also hardly a slouch, having written Mr. and Mrs. Smith and Sherlock Holmes, plus he's currently writing the sequel to X-Men: First Class, on which he was a producer. (In other words, experience in sci-fi/fantasy franchises.) Both Kasdan and Kinberg will also join Kathleen Kennedy as producers on both films.
All three of the new movies will be based on story notes from George Lucas, but will be written and directed by others. Probably the best thing for Star Wars that George Lucas could ever do at this point.
The Hollywood Reporter (and several other sites) seem to have this news all but confirmed. Disney-Lucasfilm have not offered a comment yet, except to say that they will make an official announcement on StarWars.com, where they confirmed Arndt's role. For the moment, that is still the most recent news item.
Photo credit: Collider
Sources: Lawrence Kasdan, Simon Kinberg Lock Deals to Write and Produce 'Star Wars' Installments [The Hollywood Reporter]