A few weeks ago, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over writing duties on Star Wars: Episode VII. Screenwriter Michael Arndt had been working on the film’s screenplay since Disney acquired Lucasfilm back in October 2012. While the specifics with what exactly happened with the film’s screenplay are not available, long-time fans of the Star Wars saga are happy to see one of the writers behind The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi back in the writer’s room for Episode VII.
In an interview with Total Film, J.J. Abrams talks about what it’s like working with a legend in the Star Wars universe. Considering that Abrams grew up with the Star Wars movies, working with Lawrence Kasdan has to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Abrams says:
‘Working with Larry has been one of the most surreal joys of my life,’ Abrams says. ‘We’ve had a lot of fun working together. He’s an incredible guy and an inspiring and spectacular writer.’
To contextualize the quote a bit further, an employee at Bad Robot Productions (a man named Paul, who works inside of the Bad Robot suit) talked to J.J. Abrams about working with Kasdan. Apparently, Paul tweeted that the collaboration between Abrams and Kasdan has really pushed the 47-year-old geek icon to become a better writer. This comes as good news, considering that Abrams wrote the film Super 8 (a movie that was okay, but strictly by the numbers and formulaic). Here’s the tweet:
— Paul [o . o] (@TK10815) November 23, 2013
Meanwhile, J.J. Abrams also talked about moving to London to work on Episode VII. Believe it or not, production on the new film will start in spring 2014. One of the reasons why Abrams was hesitant to take the Star Wars directing job was that he wanted to shoot the film in Los Angeles, so he could be closer to his family. Traditionally, most of the Star Wars movies were filmed at Elstree Studios in England. Episode VII will still shoot in the U.K., but this time, at Pinewood Studios instead. Here’s Abrams again:
‘It’s something that I’ve always intended to do,’ he says. ‘But I’m torn because I have done everything I can to keep the production of my projects in Los Angeles. Yet the opportunity to work with UK crews is something that has always been a dream of mine.
‘Of course, that dream existed prior to me being married and having a family, so the reality of making a movie like that for any period of time becomes much more difficult when there are other people that you desperately love and care for involved.’
Meanwhile, British actors Jason Flemyng (X-Men: First Class) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) are now rumored to be up for roles in Episode VII. While it’s unclear which roles they are up for, it’s interesting to see that Episode VII will include a mix of British and American actors. Jason Flemyng actually Instagramed a photo of the script for Star Wars: Episode VII, which looked real and has since been taken down.
Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters everywhere on December 18, 2015, in 3D.