Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3 writer Michael Arndt has dropped out of penning the upcoming Star Wars movie from director J.J. Abrams. Taking over screenwriting duties for the film are Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan, who was the co-screenwriter for The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi and who also wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, had already been serving as a consultant on Episode VII.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy commented on the behind-the-scenes changes, remaining positive as production on the highly anticipated franchise reboot is already underway.
“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. “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.”
Location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design for Star Wars Episode VII has begun and shooting is scheduled to begin in spring 2014 at Pinewood Studios. The film’s expected 2015 release remains firm.
[Via Star Wars]