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J.J. Abrams Says “Time Frame” For ‘Star Wars 7’ Led To Replacing Michael Arndt

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 7, 2013 1:50 PM
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It was two weeks ago when there was a disturbance in the Force known as "Star Wars: Episode 7." News arrived that celebrated screenwriter Michael Arndt had been replaced on the highly anticipated sequel by director J.J. Abrams himself and franchise veteran Lawrence Kasdan. Then about a week later, rumbling emerged that producer Kathleen Kennedy's request to push the "Star Wars 7" release date to 2016 was rebuffed by Disney who are sticking to a 2015 bow. Coincidence? Well, you don't have to read too hard between the lines of Abrams' recent comments to figure it out ...

Currently doing the rounds to promote his upcoming sci-fi cop show "Almost Human," the director/producer addressed Arndt's exit from "Star Wars 7" fairly bluntly. “It became clear that given the time frame and given the process and the way the thing was going that working with Larry in this way was going to get us where we need to be and when we needed to be,” he told Deadline. “Working with Larry Kasdan, especially on a 'Star Wars' movie is kind of unbeatable.”

Looking at it another way: given how fast they need to get this rolling, it was probably easier to team with someone who knows "Star Wars" inside and out, rather go through a lengthier process with someone new to the series. But Abrams has no hard feelings for Arndt—things just didn't work out, and he says he'd be up for working with him again, calling the scribe "one of the best writers around.”

“Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process,” Abrams said.

The question of course is just how much this seeming rush to get the movie out the door is compromising the creative end, but we won't find out until "Star Wars 7" arrives sometime in 2015.

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  • jj | November 13, 2013 10:57 PMReply

    Having a completely finished script was going to take much too long so JJ and LK should completely write an different script and that will speed things up

    OK...... that makes zero sense. Do they think we're stupid and these dumb media outlets buy that too? Clueless. JJ didnt like the script and wanted to write it himself...durr

  • Glass | November 8, 2013 11:35 PMReply

    “Working with Michael was a wonderful experience and I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his or adore him more, He’s a wonderful guy and was incredibly helpful in the process”

    Is this guy a politician or a filmmaker? Jesus, these studio dudes have absolutely nothing to say.

  • candid | November 8, 2013 1:00 PMReply

    Star Wars is gonna suck. CGI just doesn't lend itself to a truly cinematic experience. I can see it in my mind's eye already: deep alien vistas with spaceships flying around, large fantastic CGI environments, a video-game like action sequence through said interiors...wait, wasn't that what we got with the first 3 prequels?

  • torpedintine | November 7, 2013 11:09 PMReply

    Less excited about this now.

  • J | November 7, 2013 2:39 PMReply

    Arndt comes from animation where the priority is getting a story right - simple, clear, resonant and emotional. And that takes time. Time that these guys obviously didn't have. That said, it's Larry Kasdan people. Have faith.

  • jj | November 13, 2013 10:58 PM


  • Washington | November 7, 2013 8:03 PM

    "Have faith"


  • rodie | November 7, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    Not that big of a deal. Certainly some of what Arndt wrote will be depicted in the final film. They needed to expedite the process, and with re-writes/additions its much easier for Kasdan and Abrams to take the ball from Arndt and run with it then to have to go back to him with every alteration and addition and say, "Is this okay with you?"

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