Episode 7 News is back with some clarification on their previous Mara Jade rumor. Their source now has a name – JediDigger – and they say his info comes from “discussions between people inside Lucasfilm and it’s licenses.”
The gist of his clarification is that they’re using the existing Expanded Universe characters as a template. The actual characters we get will be based on folks like Mara/Shira Brie, Jaina, Ben and such, but with different names – like the oh-so-convenient Korriban/Moriband confusion.
“This can not be made clearer, the post ROTJ EU launched in 91 is dead,” he says. “No story from Outbound Flight forward counts.” This all comes “the request of Disney, Kathleen Kennedy and Howard Roffman.”
But “the love of Luke Skywalker’s life” is a “character George Lucas has had since the end of Return of the Jedi,” which seems like it could conflict with the idea of basing her on Mara… Or does it? It’s not like we haven’t seen a similar character from Lucas before.
They’re also claiming that Michael Arndt has “moved on to Episode 8″ and that Abrams has met with Timothy Zahn. UPDATE: Zahn himself says this part isn’t true, which casts even more doubt on the rest.
So that’s a big rumor dump – but again, not a particularly trustworthy one: Taking the EU characters as templates is significantly less dramatic a change than I would expect. I continue to be skeptical.
“It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” Deadline reports Abrams said at an Almost Human conference call today. “Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a Star Wars movie is kind of unbeatable.”
He also called working with Micheal Arndt “a wonderful experience.”
Well, this isn’t the news we’ve been expecting… It looks like Episode VII has said goodbye to screenwriter Micheal Arndt. StarWars.com has announced that J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan are now penning the script for Episode VII.
“I am very excited about the story we have in place and thrilled to have Larry and J.J. working on the script,” Kathleen 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.”
It’s unclear if any of Arndt’s script will be used, but I don’t think it looks likely… Whatever the case, I’m sure the rumors will be coming momentarily.
The announcement confirms a number of other production roles, including sound designer Ben Burtt and many others. (/Film has a nice rundown.) It also says “location scouting, production design, casting, and costume design are already underway” and states that “shooting is scheduled to begin Spring 2014” for “an expected 2015 release.”
Bad Robot’s Bryan Burk – who will apparently be producing Episode VII – told Collider that they hope to start filming Episode VII next year, which only makes sense.
We’re progressing on a schedule to hopefully begin next year, or the beginning of next year, and the location is still kind of floating around in the air all depending on script and a whole bunch of other issues. As I just said, everything is kind of a free-flowing thing, and when we feel like the story level on this script and everything is really coming together and schedules are all working and pieces line up, we prowl ahead, and Star Wars will be no different.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen reports – well, tweets – indicating that screenwriter Michael Arndt may have been hanging out with J.J. Abrams this weekend.
IGN has the first interview with Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg since their involvement with Episode VII and the standalone films was formally annouced.
He wouldn’t answer when asked about who the films will feature, but Kasdan has plenty of praise for Michael Arndt and J.J. Abrams.
No news bombs were dropped, but it’s a nice interview with a bit of insight behind the curtain.
Curious about Episode VII screenwriter Michael Arndt? The internet has dug up this video from 2007, where he discusses screenwriting and Little Miss Sunshine. (via)
This is only a 10 minute clip – you can watch the full hour and change at FORA.tv
Media. The cover of this week’s new issue of Entertainment Weekly is – surprise! – devoted to Star Wars. This means that anyone who hasn’t already heard about Episode VII will see it at the grocery story and pester us about it! Hooray!
Screenwriting. Curious about Michael Arndt? Scott Myers at Go into the Story has devoted a series of posts to his comments on screenwriting. (via)
Directors. We already figured this from his comments last week, but J.J. Abrams has out and out denied that he’s up for Episode VII. Please save all your lens flare jokes for Star Trek into Darkness.
Your moment of bwah. With the new (last?!?) Twilight movie encroaching, of course someone asked Robert Pattinson if he’d like to be in Star Wars. His answer? “Oh, absolutely. In a heartbeat.” Love or hate him, consider yourself warned. (via)
It’s official! As originally reported by Vulture yesterday, Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt will be writing the screenplay for Episode VII. “Kathleen Kennedy and George Lucas have begun story conferences with Arndt,” StarWars.com confirms.
What other actual, confirmed information do we have on Episode VII? We have a page for that.