Michael Arndt is out as sole screenwriter for Star Wars Episode VII, and J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan will be taking over.
In a statement from LucasFilm, LucasFilm president 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.”
Kasdan had already been involved in helping develop some of the future Star Wars films, which was expected to include screenwriting duties for a “non-saga” film to come after Episode VII. Kasdan is also no stranger to LucasFilm properties, having written the original Indiana Jones film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and co-written the next two sequels.
Pre-production work is already well underway for Episode VII, which is expected to begin filming next Spring for a 2015 release.