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Lawrence Kasdan And Simon Kinberg Sign On For Star Wars Episodes VIII And IX

Update: Well, that didn’t take long. The Hollywood Reporter is now saying that Kasdan and Kinberg’s deals are a lock.

With the announcement that Toy Story 3’s Michael Arndt is officially penning the next installment in the suddenly revivified Star Wars franchise, internet speculation has moved on to trying to figure out who’s going to be directing Episode VII. But to hell with that, director rumors are soooo last week. Instead let’s try to figure out who’s going to be writing Episodes VIII and IX. The first two names in the running? Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg.

The names come from Deadline, and unsurprisingly there aren’t any sources named. Instead it’s just something that the Deadline people have purportedly heard coming out of the Disney camp. As with all the assorted Star Wars rumors, sprinkle a little salt on this one until we get an official announcement. All that butt-covering aside, Kasdan and Kinberg do make a certain amount of sense.

Kasdan, especially, is a name already closely associated with Star Wars. He co-wrote the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back (with Leigh Brackett) and Return of the Jedi (with George Lucas), not to mention the script for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Of course, he also wrote and directed the godawful film adaptation of Stephen King’s Dreamcatcher, easily one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in theaters, but I’m trying my best to forget about that. At any rate, if you’re looking for somebody to write a new Star Wars movie, you could certainly do worse than to hire the guy who co-wrote the best Star Wars movie.

As for Kinberg, he’d be a new addition to the Star Wars franchise, but he’s had plenty of experience writing characters that come with an inherent and dedicated fan base. Over the past decade or so he’s penned movies including Sherlock Holmes and the surprisingly awesome X-Men: First Class. Of course, he also co-wrote the abysmal X-Men: The Last Stand, but I’m trying my best to forget about that. And in his defense, Last Stand had beaucoup problems from the get-go, not least of which was director Bryan Singer jumping ship to make Superman Returns.

Weirdly enough, now Singer is returning to direct X-Men: Days of Future Past, taking over from Matthew Vaughn, who may or may not be directing Star Wars: Episode VII. This entire thing is starting to sound like a particularly convoluted round of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.”

…who played Sebastian Shaw in X-Men: First Class! He’s the key to everything!

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