Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Star Wars Film News Roundup

By now, everyone has probably heard the news that Disney bought Lucasfilm for a cool $4 billion. Also that they immediately announced that a Star Wars Episode VII was in the works with an estimated release date of 2015.

The opportunities for merchandising are obvious and are certain to make Disney many more times their investment, and I'm certain we'll start to see some Star Wars themed attractions popping up in the various Disney theme parks in short order. More recently, however, the media powerhouse announced that there would be additional Star Wars films coming out every two to three years.

Most recently, we got some names to start hanging on the new films; the writers.

Episode VII is to be penned by Michael Arndt. He wrote the script for Little Miss Sunshine (which I had no idea grossed more than $100 million worldwide), Toy Story 3 and for the next Hunger Games film, Catching Fire.

Episode VIII, if sources are to be believed, looks like it'll be written by Lawrence Kasdan. If that name sounds familiar to you Star Wars fans, it should. He wrote the screenplay for Empire Strikes Back. Oh, and also for Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Return of the Jedi. And the story for the video game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. So he's definitely got some genre chops. He also wrote the screenplay for Silverado, which is one of the few westerns I actually like, so that brings him up a peg for me, too.

For Episode IX, the same source tells us, Simon Kinberg is being lined up. This is the one I'm not so keen on, as he wrote the screenplays for X-Men: Last Stand and Sherlock Holmes, neither of which I particularly liked. But he's also doing the screenplay for the next X-Men film, Days of Future Past, and I have high hopes for that. Sometimes you can't blame the screen writer for problems with the story.

Now, the fact that they're already laying out the next three films, which should span from 2015 through 2020 or so, is telling. They could-- and this is just my speculation here-- be setting up an Avengers-like thing where multiple parallel stories are going on and will come together in a meta-blockbuster film later on. It could, of course, be simpler than that; Lucas has had the notes for what happens after Jedi since before Star Wars came out (no, I will not call it "A New Hope", and yes, Han will always shoot first in my mind). They could just be getting the writing out of the way early to concentrate on the other aspects of the films.

Still, interesting stuff for those of us who are Star Wars fans and who were disappointed (mildly or moreso) by Episodes I-III. With Lucas out of the writing picture, hopefully we'll get some better films for VII and beyond.

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2 comments:

Phil Broeders said...

As long as Lucas is 100 light years away from any part of it, then it's got a chance. If he's directly involved then it'll be pants.

Joseph Bloch said...

He'll probably get a "story by" credit, and possibly an "executive producer" credit. But from what I read, others will handle the actual making of the films. Which I agree is the best indicator that they'll be more like Empire and less like Attack of the Clones.