Taking a break from all the speculation surrounding possible directors for Star Wars Episode VII for a moment, and Deadline has revealed that Disney has approached screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to tackle the scripts for Episode VIII and Episode IX, which will presumably be based upon the three-film outline already penned by Episode VII scribe Michael Arndt.
Kasdan is a name immediately recognisable to Star Wars fans, having scripted The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, as well as another Lucasfilm hit, 1981′s Raiders of the Lost Ark. His other writing credits include Body Heat, The Big Chill, Silverado, The Bodyguard, Wyatt Earp and Dreamcatcher, as well as the story for the 1996 cross-platform multimedia project Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.
Despite not having any prior experience within the Star Wars universe, Kinberg has written a number of blockbusters, with credits on the likes of Mr and Mrs Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, Sherlock Holmes and X-Men: First Class. He is currently producing Neill Blomkamp’s sci-fi adventure Elysium, and is also busy writing and producing the First Class sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Disney plans to generate a Star Wars film every other year from 2015, meaning that we should expect to see Episode VIII arriving in 2017, followed by Episode IX in 2019.