Disney just issued the final press releasing confirming that J.J. Abrams will, indeed, be directing Star Wars Episode VII. It includes quotes from Abrams, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy and confirms that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are consulting on the film. Read it below, along with quotes from Star Wars veterans Dennis Muren, Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood. Read More »

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The imminent release of Star Wars Episode VII in 2015 made everyone assume Star Wars Episode VIII and XI would follow in 2017 and 2019. That was the logical progression of the news that Disney CEO Bob Iger and LucasFilm co-chairman Kathleen Kennedy stated they’d like to release a new Star Wars film every two years. Everyone figured, we’d complete a new trilogy, and maybe move on from there.

Then last week, news broke that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg had been hired to write new Star Wars movies, presumably Episodes VII and XI. They’d also receive producer credit on those films. Curiously, while that news was confirmed by multiple sources, Disney and LucasFilm themselves have yet to announce it and it seems we might now have a reason why.

Sources now report that while Kasdan and Kinberg are indeed writing new Star Wars movies, they may actually be additional movies outside of the planned sequel trilogy. Read more after the jump. Read More »

All right, so the sign shown above (via Collider) is just a joke, but the off-the-charts anticipation for Episode VII is very, very real. After the jump:

  • Jon Favreau has Kevin Smith‘s vote for the Star Wars VII directing job
  • Ed Burns is ambivalent on the admittedly slim possibility of getting an offer
  • Peter Serafinowicz and Chris Hemsworth would like to be in Star Wars
  • Watch Lawrence Kasdan talking about Return of the Jedi, way back when
  • Fox announces dates for the 3D re-releases of Episode II and Episode III

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Note: Until it’s announced on StarWars.com, the news of Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg writing Star Wars Episodes VIII and IX can’t be considered official, but when two Hollywood trades report on it, that’s pretty close, so this article is assuming that it’s true.

For decades, film has been considered a directors medium. (Before the ’60s, it was usually thought of as a producer’s game.) Ask anyone now to name titans of the industry, and they’re going to list directors: Ford, Hitchcock, Kubrick, Scorsese, Spielberg. And so, when the news of a new set of Star Wars movies was announced, the conversation immediately turned to directors. Who could possibly shepherd our unrealistic expectations of a sequel to Return of the Jedi?

At the only place that counts, LucasFilm, it seems they feel writers are more important than the director. While hiring Michael Arndt to write Star Wars Episode VII before hiring a director made complete sense (most directors would never commit to a project without a script), hiring Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to write Star Wars Episodes VIII and XI before any directors are attached at all speaks volumes to how this trilogy is being handled. It seems to suggest that story is king and that’s a good thing. Read More »

When Disney bought LucasFilm and announced Star Wars Episode VII for 2015, with at least two more films to follow, there was a big flurry of excitement. But in the wake of that announcement there has been a Biblical flood of rumors and speculation about the films, most of which are patently ridiculous. Even the better rumors are mostly just hopeful conversations about the movie.

What we do know is that Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) has been hired to script Star Wars Episode VII, based on a treatment he worked up for George Lucas.

With that in the works, do you think LucasFilm and Disney are just going to hang out and wait to plan the next two films? Seems unlikely, and a current report says that Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg are possible writers for those sequels. Kasdan, of course, has great experience with the series, having scripted the best installment and its follow-up, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Kinberg wrote X-Men: First Class, and the upcoming Days of Future Past. Read More »

On paper, Lawrence Kasdan‘s Darling Companion sounds promising. Kasdan, an Oscar-nominated screenwriter and filmmaker, directed the drama from a script he co-wrote with his wife Meg Kasdan, also an Oscar nominee. The star-studded cast, as the trailer is happy to remind you, includes two Academy Award nominees (Richard Jenkins and Sam Shepard) and three Academy Award winners (Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, and Kevin Kline), as well as promising younger actors like Elisabeth Moss and Mark Duplass. But at the end of the day, no number of collective accolades can guarantee an interesting picture, and unfortunately, the trailer for Darling Companion looks pretty cringeworthy.

The Kasdans’ screenplay revolves around a dissatisfied older woman named Beth (Keaton) who adopts an abandoned dog she finds on the side of the road and finds contentment in her bond with him. But when Beth’s self-absorbed husband (Kline) loses the dog, the couple pull together a search party to find him and everyone finds that they’re affected by the experience in unexpected ways. Watch the video after the jump.

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As Zack Snyder is hard at work once again making us believe a man can fly, rumor has it Warner Bros. is already flying towards a follow up. Man of Steel, Snyder’s Superman reboot starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Russell Crowe is still filming in Vancouver aimed at a June 14, 2013 release date. One site is reporting executives are so happy with the results, they’ve put together a list of writers to tackle a sequel. The list, reportedly, includes Steve Kloves, Travis Beacham and Lawrence Kasdan. Read more after the jump. Read More »

I talked about the very serious film Paradise Lost earlier today — the documentary about the just-freed West Memphis Three. But there’s that other Paradise Lost being developed by Legendary Pictures and director Alex Proyas. That’s the very loose adaptation of the epic poem by Milton that chronicles the break between Lucifer and Heaven. The film will be a largely mocapped, CGI affair with Bradley Cooper playing Lucifer and Benjamin Walker playing the archangel Michael. And now they’ll be joined by Djimon Hounsou as Abdiel, the angel of death. Read More »

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