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

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist November 7, 2013 at 1:50PM

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J.J. Abrams,  'Star Wars'

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.

This article is related to: J. J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, Star Wars


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