I've heard rumblings that things weren't going very well with screenwriter Michael Arndt on Star Wars: Episode VII. It looks like those rumblings were right. Arndt is no longer writing the film. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back) are now taking over the duties of developing the script. There's no reason given as to why he was let go from the project, but he must not have been cutting it. Maybe there were some creative differences. Remember, he was brought on before Abrams was involved, so maybe they just didn't mesh well. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy had this to say in a statement to StarWars.com,
"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.”
I have no doubt that Abrams and Kasdan are going to deliver one hell of a Star Wars film! Maybe it will be a little longer before we get any other official announcements because of this little change up, but you never know. In the mean time, here's some information on the film and who's involved.
Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway on Episode VII. A team of gifted artists are working to bring the latest installment of the Star Wars saga, including director of photography Dan Mindel (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness), production designers Rick Carter (Lincoln, Avatar, Forrest Gump) and Darren Gilford (Oblivion, TRON: Legacy), costume designer Michael Kaplan (Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Fight Club), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception), sound designer Ben Burtt (Lincoln, Wall-E, Star Wars: Episodes I-VI), re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story, Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol), supervising sound editor Matthew Wood (Star Trek Into Darkness,The Master, There Will Be Blood) of Skywalker Sound, and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett (Star Trek Into Darkness, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith) of Industrial Light & Magic. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (Tintin,War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers. John Williams is returning to score Star Wars: Episode VII.
Shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios for an expected 2015 release.