Oh, happy day! As you may have heard (from either us or the approximately 12 million other sites heavy on the Star Wars this month), screenwriter Michael Arndt was recently selected to write Star Wars: Episode VII. And now it’s looking like we have writers for Episodes VIII and IX as well: Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.
Why is this news so awesome? Only because Kasdan wrote The Empire Strikes Back (the best of the original trilogy, in my view. Accept no substitutes) and Return of the Jedi, in addition to Raiders of the Lost Ark.
As for Kinberg, though his writing isn’t Star Wars-specific, he does have franchise experience, having co-written Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: First Class, and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. He also wrote Mr. and Mrs. Smith and co-wrote This Means War. Bring on the rom-com mashups!
(Also on his resume are X-Men: The Last Stand and Jumper. Just putting that out there.)
LucasFilm hasn’t confirmed the news, but reputable sources The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline are treating it like it’s pretty much a sure thing, so I’d not be surprised if it’s made official in the next day or so. We don’t yet know which person will be writing which film. It’s also being reported that the pair of them will come on as producers as well.
As you might be able to tell, I’m super-excited about the possibility of Kasdan being brought back on to (fingers crossed) imbue the new trilogy with some old school Star Wars-style magic. I’m less happy about Kinberg, as I thought the First Class script was wincingly bad. (Charles and Erik talking about mutant-human integration while sitting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial playing chess? Really? I’m fine with chess-as-metaphor, but the Lincoln Memorial, too?! Sorry, had to get that out.) But Sherlock Holmes was good. I’m not counting him out yet.