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 »

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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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Though he’s been announced as attached to a few projects over the past couple years, Lawrence Kasdan hasn’t written or directed a produced film since Dreamcatcher in 2003. (He has done script work, like the polish on the script for the action version of Paradise Lost that Alex Proyas just signed to direct.)

But now Kasdan will direct Darling Companion from a script he wrote with Meg Kasdan, and he’s just added Mark Duplass, Dianne Wiest and Sam Shepard to the cast. Read More »

indiana jones raiders of the lost ark

Last year LucasFilm released this incredible book called The Complete Making of Indiana Jones (if you don’t have it and love the original trilogy, you must pick it up — its available on Amazon for around $23). It has all sorts of concept art, early script pages, notes, never seen production photos, its incredible.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a page which contains excerpts from the original story conference between George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan in January 1978. It’s like being in the delivery room while Indiana Jones is born. For example, there is a conversation about if Indiana Jones should be afraid of anything, and if so what he should be afraid of. Spielberg suggests that the character should be afraid of snakes but it should be a surprise later on in the film, and Lucas suggests that you reveal that he’s afraid of snakes in the beginning of the movie and later play it for comedy when he opens the tomb “I can’t go down there. Why did it have to be snakes? Anything but snakes.” And later Lucas suggests the character’s name should be Indiana Smith, but thankfully later changes his mind to Indiana Jones because he likes that people can call him “Indy” or “Jones”. I’m not sure if it’s just the screenwriter hidden inside of me, but I find it extremely cool to read these conversations.

Unfortunately, the book I mentioned only contains a page or two of excerpts. I’ve always been really interested to read the full transcript. Well guess what? /Film reader Jackie R has pointed me to a site called mysterymanonfilm which links to a PDF document that contains all 126 pages of the Raiders of the Lost Ark story conference. It must have been made publicly available at some point, although I’ve never seen it myself. And for those of you who don’t want to read the whole thing, mysterymanonfilm has written a longish post (but very shortish compared to the 126-page document) compiling 10 screenwriting lessons he took away from the transcript. It’s a very interesting read, especially if you’re interested in the creative process.

Warner Bros has hired new screenwriters for their big screen live-action adaptation of Robotech. Smallville scribes Alfred Gough and Miles Millar have come on board to rewrite Lawrence Kasdan‘s previous draft. This is not good news. Gough and Millar were the team behind The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Herbie Fully Loaded, Made Men, Showtime, and the Shanghai Noon franchise (you remember, the Jackie Chan/Owen Wilson western comedy films?). To be fair, they got a story credit on Spider-Man 2...

And to think, Warner Bros gave those two guys the job of rewriting a script penned by the the screenwriting legend responsible for both Raiders of the Lost Ark and Empire Strikes Back. It’s mind-boggling. The Hollywood Reporter claims that Warner Bros made the move in hopes that it will “bring action and geek cred to the table.”

Geek cred?

The guys who made Smallville?

Really?

Robotech refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed giant robotic machines or mecha (many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles) to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions. At the time of its broadcast, Harmony Gold also launched Robotech through a popular line of comics to be followed by novels, role-playing games, video games, comic books, toys, and other consumer products.

Discuss: How badly will Gough and Millar ruin Robotech?

Lawrence Kasdan’s Robotech?

According to CHUD’s sources, screenwriting legend Lawrence Kasdan is writing the big screen live-action adaptation of Robotech. For those of you who don’t know, Kasdan is the guy who wrote Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark. What we do know for sure, Warner Bros and Maguire Entertainment are developing the project as a starring vehicle for Tobey Maguire. When the project was first announced back in September, Craig Zahler, a virtual unknown, was attached to pen the screenplay. Kasdan is an epic screenwriter for this epic sci-fi adaptation.

Robotech refers to the scientific advances discovered in an alien starship that crashed on a South Pacific island. With this technology, Earth developed giant robotic machines or mecha (many of which were capable of transforming into vehicles) to fight three successive extraterrestrial invasions. At the time of its broadcast, Harmony Gold also launched Robotech through a popular line of comics to be followed by novels, role-playing games, video games, comic books, toys, and other consumer products.

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