Kathleen Kennedy is the The Hollywood Reporter‘s cover story and naturally, it begins with how she convinced J.J. Abrams to take on Episode VII:
Famously plain-spoken, she summarizes her pitch like this: “Please do Star Wars.” And she had cards to play. Not only was Oscar winner Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) writing the script, but Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Return of the Jedi, was on board to consult. Abrams “was flipping out when he found out that Michael and Larry were on the movie already,” says Kennedy.
Abrams tells THR, “I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is.” Some — but not all — of his reservations were dispelled. “The thing about any pre-existing franchise — I’d sort of done that,” he says. “But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalizing.”
Kennedy goes on to discuss Lincoln’s Oscar campaign and her partnership with director Steven Spielberg, including this cute tidbit of how George Lucas approached him about hiring her:
Lucas called to raise the issue during a dubbing session on Lincoln. “He actually asked for her hand in business,” says Spielberg. “I wasn’t going to stand in her way.”
We learn that she’s commited to Lucasfilm for 5 years, splitting time between San Francisco and Los Angeles, her start in the business, meeting husband Frank Marshall and more.
As for Lucas? Spielberg says he’s ready to stay retired:
Asked whether he believes Lucas can really keep his distance, Spielberg doesn’t hesitate. “I completely know he can do that,” he says. “He’s ready to start living without the burden and weight and responsibility of this huge corporate asset.”
In short, if you’re curious about Kennedy, this article is a good place to start!