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

     November 20, 2012


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:


Around The Web

    I just got goosebumps hearing this news!!!
    The fact that Disney, are on the wavelength of Empire strikes back, fiils me with hope, and it seems they are going in the right direction, ie, not full of Jar Jar type characters or sillyness that is found scattered throughout the prequels. Fingers crossed, but this news is great news. I’m ready for an official teaser infront of a movie, one that will simply say STAR WARS. Episode VII. 2015
    Just so it proves to myself i’m not dreaming.

    My god, this is gonna be fuckin GIGANTIC!!!!!!

  • Grayden

    The more info they release the more I’m warming up to this.

  • M&M

    Whoa, whoa, whoa….
    The screenwriter I hold responsible for the greatness that both The Empire Strikes Back AND Raiders of the Lost Ark are is on board???


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  • jimmer

    where are all the haters now?

    also to Matt Lane, give lucas respect… he’s only responsible for, idk… the whole damn thing to begin with. the guy is a genius, i want him involved as much as possible.

    • DREDD

      Correct! Smartest comment i’ve read. George Lucas IS Star Wars, his vision, passion and determination against all odds of getting it made changed movies forever! Made the 80s the greatest decade to grow up in.
      , creating ILM, Pixar, Skywalker sound and Star Wars and Indiana Jones. So what if he lost his touch in recent years, yes Phantom menace sucks, but id take that over any twilight shitfest.

      Half the haters that bash him and say he raped their childhood make me puke. Tarek, being the number one dickwad here, he said in a previous thread that Lucas sucked, then said A New Hope was his favorite film of the series. Incredible stupidity. Or try hard troll.

      • JIM


      • dad

        Yes “twilight shitfest” is so right and i guess I agree a lot with what you say there about Lucas losing his touch but still bringing a lot of what helped to change entertainment forever.

    • jk

      Lucas should get credit for Star Wars, there’s no debating that. However, when he was conceiving the idea and direction of the classic trilogy, he was heavily influenced by his mentor/professor Joseph Campbell, who was the foremost scholar on the idea of universal myth and universal hero–constant themes that are shared by all cultures. What makes the classic trilogy so good, is that Lucas borrows heavily from Campbell’s ideas and conclusion. Lucas draws hate from his fans because the Prequel Trilogy is mostly devoid of these ideas–settling for spectacular special effects, but little in the way of convincing character growth or motivation. Oppotunist, yes, genius, no.

      • wombatawa

        You do realize that 1-3 pretty followed the exact largest scale general story outline mentioned in little tidbits way back in the late 70s. It is not like he just came up with it all in the 90s. All the trade federation, politics that the fanboys scream about was actually all there way back when, only in even in bigger doses….

      • Amra

        While Lucas absolutely deserves all credit for SW in the 1st place, it seems that he cannot generally write good dialogue. Harrison supposedly said in the original SW: “George, you can type this ****, but you sure as hell can’t say it.” and it held true in all his other direct writing work. Kasdan really was the source of the good dialogue we tend to remember.

        Also noteworthy is that, while Lucas wrote teh very successful Ep. III himself, his planned story was always, despite constant MASSIVE plot overhauls, sounding very, very bad, almost right up until filming began, at which point he hit gold, and apparently knew to stop EXACTLY where he was and not move at all. Just. . . In. . . Time.

        His wife also co-edited the film w/him, and I suspect she was a big influence.

        Again, SW rules, and it IS George’s baby. I’m just glad he isn’t writing the dialogue.

  • Northern Star

    One word immediately springs to mind… DAMN! I want so much to not like this new trilogy, but Disney keeps piling on reasons for me to get all giddy with excitement… Lawrence Kasdan back writing a new ‘Star Wars’ movie? I’ll take that right now!?

  • sense 11

    That’s just amazing news, this is all happening so fast :)

  • Cahoot

    Wait – Simon Kinberg wrote First Class? I thought he was just a producer on that? IMDB Also seems to think so. If this is true, how does the guy whose best script is Mr. and Mrs. Smith get this job? I didn’t hate that movie by any means, but it seems like a weird fit (I was not a fan of Sherlock).

    Regardless, with Kasdan on board, this should be taken as positive news. Hopefully the choice of director will also be awesome.

  • Dixie Normous

    Can we at least wait for the movie to come out before people start trash talking the people who are hesitant about this? It’s the same with the Hobbit.. It looks like it could be potentially be a fantastic set of movies, but the “haters” are not wrong until the finished product is released..

  • JIM


    • Anonymous

      Get a life. You’re about 35 years too late.

      • JIM


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  • Nomis1700

    RADIERS of the lost ark?

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