When Disney made its huge purchase of Lucasfilm last year, it was revealed that Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) had produced a treatment for a new Sequel Trilogy, and was busy hammering away at the screenplay for Star Wars: Episode VII. Since then, J.J. Abrams (Star Trek Into Darkness) has come on board as director, with the film gearing up to go into production this coming Spring for a 2015 release, and it’s now been revealed via the official Star Wars website that Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Return of the Jedi) have assumed screenwriting duties. At this point, it’s unclear whether they’re polishing Arndt’s script or taking the story in a different direction entirely.
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. “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.”
Meanwhile, in news that could signal a casting announcement is finally on the horizon, the official site has also revealed details of Abrams crew for the eagerly-anticipated sequel, which is set to include director of photography Dan Mindel (Mission: Impossible III, Star Trek, Star Trek Into Darkness), production designers Rick Carter (Lincoln, Avatar, Forrest Gump) and Darren Gilford (Oblivion, TRON: Legacy), costume designer Michael Kaplan (Star Trek Into Darkness, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Fight Club), special effects supervisor Chris Corbould (Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Inception), sound designer Ben Burtt (Lincoln, Wall-E, Star Wars: Episodes I-VI), re-recording mixer Gary Rydstrom (Jurassic Park, Saving Private Ryan, Toy Story), supervising sound editor Matthew Wood (Star Trek Into Darkness, The Master, There Will Be Blood) and visual effects supervisor Roger Guyett (Star Trek Into Darkness, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith), and composer John Williams Star Wars: Episodes I-VI). Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Bryan Burk are producing, with Tommy Harper (Jack Ryan, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers.