Simon Kinberg and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Scribe Lawrence Kasdan to Write and Produce STAR WARS Episodes 8 and 9

     November 20, 2012

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If you thought we’d be heading into the Thanksgiving holiday without one more Star Wars rumor for the road, you’d be wrong.  Michael Arndt was recently confirmed as the screenwriter for Star Wars: Episode VII, and while everyone is busy speculating over who will or won’t direct the next installment in the franchise, it appears that Disney already has its sights set on Episodes VIII and IX.  Word on the street is that the Mouse House is looking at Empire Strikes Back screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and X-Men: First Class scribe Simon Kinberg to possibly get to work on the next two installments in the new trilogy right away.  Hit the jump for more.

[Update: Kasdan and Kinberg’s involvement has been confirmed along with the news that the two will also produce.  More after the jump.]

lawrence-kasdan-star-wars-episode-8-9[Heat Vision is now reporting that Kasdan and Kinberg have closed deals to write either Episode VIII or Episode IX, though the division of their responsibilities has yet to be determined.  This means that Kasdan could possibly find himself writing the middle chapter in a Star Wars trilogy again, and we all know how that worked out the first time.  The duo will also produce the films.  Our original story follows below.]

When Star Wars: Episode VII was announced, it was revealed that it was the first film in a planned new trilogy based on treatments by George Lucas.  Lucas said that he passed all his story notes and treatments for further Star Wars films on to new LucasFilm head and Star Wars gatekeeper Kathleen Kennedy, and Disney made it clear that they would like to release a new Star Wars film every other year.

That kind of ambitious plan doesn’t move forward without some major planning, and Deadline is now hearing that Disney is approaching Lawrence Kasdan and Simon Kinberg to go ahead and get the ball rolling on Episodes 8 and 9.  Kasdan’s name should ring familiar for fans of the original franchise, as he scripted The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, and he also penned the screenplay for Radiers of the Lost Ark.  As for Kinberg, he’s no stranger to franchise material himself as he wrote the scripts for Sherlock Holmes, X-Men: First Class, and the upcoming sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.

I have to say I’m pretty over the moon about the mere prospect of Kasdan returning to the franchise.  Lucas is still involved with the new films as a consultant, but it’d be great to inject the new films with some of the creative juice that crafted the original trilogy.  Disney/LucasFilm is taking a strict “no comment” policy on all rumors and unofficial murmurings, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we heard an announcement regarding Kasdan and Kinberg’s involvement relatively soon, assuming they accept the gigs.  Whatever the case, it appears that we won’t be lacking for new Star Wars films for quite some time.

star-wars-episode-v-the-empire-strikes-back-imagePeruse our recent Star Wars coverage below, and be sure to check out our latest feature “Confessions of a Star Wars Virgin in which Collider’s own Allison Keane watches the films for the first time:

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