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Never mind: Kasdan and Kinberg might be writing different Star Wars things, not Episodes VIII and IX

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]

Original Star Wars trilogy scribe Lawrence Kasdan reportedly attached to new trilogy, plus Simon Kinberg

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]

Lucasfilm confirms: Michael Arndt will write Star Wars: Episode VII

In an update to yesterday's post about Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Little Miss Sunshine) writing the next installment of the Star Wars saga, Lucasfilm confirmed on StarWars.com that it's official: Arndt is writing the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VII, slated for release in 2015. No news yet on a title, but the Oscar-winner has been meeting with George Lucas and new Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy for story conferences. The wheels are in motion, ladies and gentlemen -- new Star Wars movies are totally happening. (via Deadline) Jamie

Disney may be eyeing Toy Story 3 writer to pen Star Wars: Episode VII, so get ready for space tears?

Nothing is official yet, but Vulture is reporting that a possible candidate to write the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VII is Michael Arndt, an Oscar winner for writing Little Miss Sunshine and a nominee for the emotionally-charged Toy Story 3. Arndt, according to Vulture, wrote a 40-50-page treatment for the next installment of George Lucas' classic franchise and Disney/Lucasfilm liked it a lot. Even better, the writer had been working on this before the merger last week, so they didn't have to vet a bunch of losers first!

But seriously -- Michael Arndt might be perfect for this.

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Harrison Ford probably isn't above a few million dollars for playing Han Solo again

Last week's biggest entertainment news, Disney acquiring Lucasfilm for just over four billion dollars, was almost immediately followed by the news that Star Wars: Episode VII might now be in the works. While rumors fly on that, here's another one to add to the mix: possible returning cast members. No, not Hayden Christensen, as excited as I know everyone would be about that! Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford have all said that they're "open" to the idea for reprising their roles from the original trilogy, according to Entertainment Weekly. That's far from a confirmation of anything, but in an interview with a source close to Ford, who has remained decidedly unenthused about the entire franchise since Return of the Jedi, the 70-year-old actor might just be go for launch.

One factor in such a decision -- besides the gigantic paycheck and never having to work ever again -- is that George Lucas will soon be stepping aside and retiring from running Lucasfilm and will yield power to Kathleen Kennedy. That leaves a bit more creative freedom, and the right director might just be the right man or woman to woo Ford back into the cast. It's pretty exciting just knowing that Ford is "upbeat" about such a project, and it's certainly red meat for Star Wars fans who were let down by the most recent trilogy. But as it's been pointed out repeatedly, all that exists right now are rumors. Set your speculatrons to "stun." Hehe -- little Star Trek joke. For the Star Wars post.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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Infringe-a-licious Tokyo tee: best Star Wars shirt ever?

Writer and comics creator Brian Michael Bendis (Twitter) is in Tokyo, and tweeted a series of infringment-spotting snapshots today. The Stormtrooper/Star Wars shirt he found and photographed, above, makes me weep with desire.