Disney's CEO Robert Iger is insisting that Star Wars: Episode VII get a 2015 release, according to The Hollywood Reporter. His mandate comes on the heels of the departure of screenwriter Michael Arndt, who allegedly left the script in a largely unfinished state. Although the movie's producer has requested for an extension to 2016, according to THR's sources, Iger wants Episode VII in theaters during the '15 calendar year. That's because he's supposedly assembled a game plan that would allow for the next three Star Wars movies (and two spinoffs) to come out over a six-year period.
Arndt had been working on the Episode VII script exclusively for a substantial part of the last year. He'd also previously written a 40- to 50-page treatment for the film prior to Disney's purchase of the franchise in late 2012. But because he's an in-demand screenwriter, whom THR claims can command up to $300,000 a week for rewrites, he decided to move on.
Now, Iger's deadline has supposedly prompted director J.J. Abrams to oversee scripting for the movie with Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back. Abrams also allegedly agrees with Iger's vision to have the movie come out in 2015, a year that will also see the releases of the final Hunger Games movie, an Avengers movie and the Superman-Batman movie.
Since they've been announced, though, the forthcoming Star Wars films have become a hot topic for rumors. Reports have suggested that they will include "origin stories" for some characters. Others have revolved around the spinoff films that could focus on Yoda. And chief among the rumors has been the debate over just which actors will appear in the films – something that Harrison Ford was implicitly silent about in a recent interview with Jay Leno. Regardless, though, director Abrams is confident the films will feel "emotional" and "authentic."