“To infinity, and beyond!” said Luke Skywalker.
Soon after the announcement of Disney’s purchase of the “Star Wars” franchise, Lucasfilm confirmed last Friday that Michael Arndt has signed on as the writer for “Episode VII,” slated for release in 2015. Arndt’s most recent release as writer was 2010’s “Toy Story 3,” for which he received an Oscar nomination for best adapted screenplay.
Although he will be stepping down as chief executive of Lucasfilm within the next year, “Star Wars” creator George Lucas will remain as a creative consultant for the new movie, which is the first in a planned trilogy.
In a video interview on StarWars.com, Lucas said of his involvement: “I would be there … especially helping with the script … There’s a lot of blank spots in the story treatment that hopefully we can fill in.”
As to who will direct the film, there have been no concrete announcements as of yet, though names like J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, and Jon Favreau have been circling the infosphere. Kathleen Kennedy, Lucas’ successor as president of Lucasfilm, said that they were only considering a certain type of director for the job: “It’s not going to be people who don’t already have some affinity for Star Wars probably. It’s going to be somebody who really appreciates what Star Wars meant to them and is excited to dive in and be a part of this.”
Though they may want a diehard, the prospect of continuing the iconic series seems daunting to some. J.J. Abrams dispelled the rumor of his involvement over the weekend in an interview with Hollywoodlife.com, saying: “I am looking forward more than anyone to the next iterations of Star Wars, but I believe I will be going as a paying moviegoer.” Citing his love of the film series, Abrams explained how he thought continuing the space opera would be too much of a burden for a true fan.
Director Kevin Smith, known for his frequent references to the franchise in his View Askewniverse film collection, wrote about his hopes for the movie in an editorial for the Hollywood Reporter. Smith said, “If Disney wants to make another cool billion dollars like it did with The Avengers last summer, all it needs to do is make a Boba Fett time-travel flick.”
Referring to the ominous, armored bounty hunter that became an instant fan favorite, Smith voiced why he thought it would be a hit: “You could use every living (and dead) actor from the previous Star Wars films, no
matter what their age — which means Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford can come and play as well.”
Currently, there are no definite reports on the involvement of Hamill, Fisher and Ford, who starred in the original series as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo, respectively.
Hamill told Entertainment Weekly in a recent interview that Lucas had informed him and Fisher of plans of a new trilogy over the summer. However, he said, “I had no idea that George was going to sell to Disney until I read it online like everybody else.”
He added that he did not know at this point about the status of his involvement.
However, with the immediate signing of Arndt as writer, it seems that fans may not have to wait long to hear more updates on the new “Star Wars.”
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