Is 'Star Wars Episode 7' Already In Turmoil? JJ Abrams And Kasdan Replace Michael Arndt As Screenwriter

There is already a great disturbance in The Force, as the Disney-handled Star Wars reboot, Star Wars Episode 7, already looks as though it might be in turmoil. The set back has occurred because original screenwriter Michael Arndt has unexpectedly been replaced by the films director JJ Abrams and Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan.

Lawrence KasdanJJ Abrams
Kasdan (L) and Abrams (R) have been brought in to re-write the script

There has been no explanation as to why the Oscar-winning Arndt has been dropped from the project, with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy giving no indication on why the Toy Story 3 writer has been ousted in favor of Abrams and Kasdan. Major Hollywood pictures of this magnitude do often undergo re-writes after a first draft has been drawn up, so there might not be much cause for concern. But still, given the secrecy and seeming aimlessness of the movie's progression, you can forgive us for fearing for the worse.

“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script," Kennedy said in a statement released on behalf of the film studio (via Entertainment Weekly). "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.”

What do we know about Star Wars: Episode VII so far?

What is particularly concerning about the film's progress at this point is just how long things are scheduled to be completed. Filming is still tipped to begin in spring 2014, with the film slated for a cinematic release some time in 2015. That only gives Abrams and co one year to film the entire movie, add the special effects and go through all the other post-production requirements before it comes out.

For a film that is usually presented on such an epic scale this really doesn't seem like enough time at all. The props and costumes and what not may be being developed now, but there is still a rich galaxy of content to be added to the project in between and after filming. The whole thing just seems as though it might end up being rushed, and with this little discrepancy in place, then things are looking even worse.

Will we see these two in the new film?

Abrams' main expertise is in television, an area with strict time limits and schedules written in stone, so what does this say about his appointment to the project as both a writer and director? Why get an established movie director like Michael Vaughn when you can get soemone who knows how to work around a tight schedule like Abrams?

Sure, the science CGI is at it's most advanced stage ever, so this could mean that the final stages of filming and post-production could be done in at least half the time that was required in 1977 or 1999 (just to reiterate, we're not praising The Phantom Menace in any way here). This doesn't mean that the final product doesn't seem any less rushed than before and more and more the project is looking not like a labor of love, but a labor of profit. Maybe that's why Arndt left, because he wanted to put too much heart into the project, and Disney forbade him from doing so. After all, its a known fact that wherever Bob Iger goes, the Imperial March Theme follows him around.


Tags: Star Wars - Jj Abrams - George Lucas


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