Lucasfilm has announced that Star Wars: Episode VII director J.J. Abrams and franchise screenwriting veteran Lawrence Kasdan have assumed screenwriting roles for the highly anticipated sequel as pre-production for the film continues.
Kasdan co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and is collaborating with Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand, Sherlock Holmes) on the solo films set to be released between installments of the new trilogy. Oscar winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) was hired last year to pen Episode VII.
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement. “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.”
Although more recently recognized for his directorial skill, Abrams has a number of screenwriting credits, including Super 8, Mission: Impossible III, Fringe, Lost and more. Shooting for Star Wars: Episode VII is expected to begin Spring 2014 with an eye for 2015 release.